UMBC-run program will support twice as many tech internships this summer

Published: May 22, 2024

Student tech interns work on a project together

An innovative internship program run through UMBC that helps Maryland support growing technology businesses while also retaining talented college graduates in the region is set to more than double over the next year, thanks to a $700,000 budget investment from Governor Wes Moore and the Maryland General Assembly. The funding increase is effective July 1, making it available for the summer internship season and allowing for a growing number of employers to immediately take advantage of this proven and effective workforce development program. 

Launched and administered by UMBC, the Maryland Technology Internship Program (MTIP) offers financial assistance to technology-based businesses across the state to enable them to hire more interns from colleges. To date, students from 34 Maryland colleges and universities have been placed in more than 1,000 technical internships, primarily in smaller businesses, across biohealth and life sciences, engineering, IT/software solutions, cybersecurity, and manufacturing. 

“Through programs like MTIP, UMBC is driving economic development in our state, which fulfills our mission as an anchor university,” said UMBC President Valerie Sheares Ashby. “I want to thank Delegate Rosenberg for helping bring MTIP to fruition as well as Governor Moore for his leadership in making this MTIP expansion possible.”

MTIP was made possible as a result of House Bill 1317, 2014 legislation sponsored by state Del. Samuel I. “Sandy” Rosenberg, who has continued to work with UMBC and the University System of Maryland to shape the program. Originally aimed at smaller businesses, MTIP was expanded through subsequent legislation to larger technology companies as well as state and local agencies. MTIP first received funding in the FY 2019 budget, and the first MTIP-supported interns began working in the fall of 2018. This new funding, on top of the current base budget of $365,000, will make MTIP a $1 million-a-year regional growth initiative.

Among the many MTIP success stories is Courtney Cavin ’22, M.S. ’23, chemical engineering, who turned an internship into a successful career with Astek Diagnostics, a medical device company based in Halethorpe, Maryland. Astek CEO Mustafa Al-Adhami, M.S. ’15, Ph.D. ’20, mechanical engineering, describes how MTIP interns grow—and grow the companies where they work.

a man stands and talks on a stage
Mustafa Al-Adhami speaks at a UMBC Grit-X event.

“I came into the office during Courtney Cavin’s first week and sketched out a concept for testing urine for UTI,” said Al-Adhami. “At that point, Astek Diagnostics was just the two of us. Two years later, we’ve developed our first Alpha cartridge and she is Astek’s chief product officer.” 

“We are accepting applications for summer internships now and are ready to immediately scale up,” said Jen Spencer Heilman, UMBC program director for workforce initiatives, noting that the popular program often has a waitlist of interested companies. “We currently average about 160 internships a year. This new funding will allow us to increase matching funds to employers and support more than 300 students across the state each year. Historically, we’ve had to turn away a number of employers due to reaching funding capacity. We are thrilled for this opportunity to expand our support to more companies.”

Heilman said she looks forward to the program’s partnership with UpSurge Baltimore and the Baltimore Tech Hub Consortium as an ecosystem builder for Baltimore tech. Employers interested in receiving financial support for technical intern hires should review the MTIP eligibility and guidelines.

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