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STEM Ready Participants Among Entrepreneurs Honored by Governor

STEM Ready Participants Among Entrepreneurs Honored by Governor

Of the startups recognized by Governor Rick Scott recently at the Innovation Hub (link to last week’s article), four—YouthCombine, Eventplicity, RAPiD Genomics and Captozyme –are participants in STEM Ready, the latest talent-boosting initiative undertaken by CareerSource North Central Florida.

STEM Ready is a five-year $10-million U.S. Department of Labor grant-funded program providing training, internships and job placement assistance in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers for eligible unemployed, underemployed, and veteran participants in the Gainesville, Tallahassee and Daytona regions.

“STEM Ready will provide my startup with access to new talent to evolve and leverage technology and reach more youth worldwide,” said Matthew Howland, founder of Youth Combine, one the recipients of the Governor’s Entrepreneur Award. “STEM Ready is giving me a three-month head start on beating our competition to the market.”

Via STEM Ready, employers provide real-world work experience, enhancing the skills of the participant, for up to 12 weeks of paid internship where participants earn valuable work skills in a STEM occupation – all at no cost to the employer or worker. Participants are paid directly by CareerSource NCFL.

In the rapidly changing STEM work environment, STEM Ready’s goal is to connect 600 workers to growing STEM employers.

Currently, in CareerSource North Central Florida’s service area–which includes Alachua and Bradford Counties–over 30 companies are enrolled in the program.

STEM Ready is being implemented on the heels of cutting-edge business solutions, including Startup Quest® and the Healthcare Biomanufacturing Occupational & Technology Training initiative, that CareerSource North Central Florida has implemented to assist Alachua and Brad County employers and workers.

For more information, contact STEM Ready Program Manager Makaya C. McKnight,, 352.213.3834, or visit

To learn more about the UF Innovation Hub, visit

To learn more about the Governor’s Young Entrepreneur Award, visit

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