LANSING — State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) introduced legislation today that would establish the Battlefield to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Educational Grant Program for Michigan veterans who are enrolled in STEM degree programs at Michigan’s public community colleges and universities.

“Federal statistics show that unemployment for post-9/11 Michigan veterans was more than 6 percent, and state statistics show that we aren’t producing enough graduates to fill STEM career pathways. So encouraging our veterans to stay in a STEM program that will prepare them for stable, well-paying jobs is a win-win for our state and our veterans,” said Dianda.

The grant created in the bill would award up to $5,000 for an eligible veteran who is a full-time student after their first year of study in a STEM degree program. The eligible STEM degree programs would be those determined by the Department of Homeland Security, or degree programs in applied health sciences such as nursing, physical therapy and others. Eligible veterans include those who have served on active duty for at least 180 days and have received an honorable or general discharge, or was discharged due to a service-connected disability. Veterans include those who have served in the armed forces including the National Guard.

To receive the grant, a student must be a Michigan resident, have received their high school diploma or GED in Michigan, and maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average in their qualifying degree program.

“Our veterans have sacrificed much to protect us and our families, so I think it’s our duty now to help our veterans train and find a good job when they come home,” said Dianda. “These men and women have invested themselves in our safety, so we need to make this investment in their future. I look forward to the support of my colleagues and hope we pass this quickly and get it to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for his signature.”