AUGUSTA | Chairs of the Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development committee applauded a new initiative by the Harold Alfond Foundation designed to lift the burden of student debt and keep more graduates living and working in Maine.
“Many college graduates today are entering the workforce with a significant amount of debt,” said Sen. Amy Volk (R-Cumberland). “The Alfond Foundation’s student debt relief program will create a real incentive for Maine graduates to remain in the state to live, work and build their careers. The program will also add another tool to the toolbox for businesses hoping to keep more qualified young Mainers in our workforce and lure those who have left our state for higher education back home.”
The new statewide student loan repayment program, called Alfond Leaders, will provide up to $60,000 in student loan debt relief per student for Maine residents who are employed by Maine-based businesses in the STEM-related fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
“As a recent graduate myself, I know Maine has the tools we need to strengthen our economy, now let’s make sure our best and brightest are leading the way,” said Rep. Ryan Fecteau (D-Biddeford). “Prioritizing growing fields and opening the door so students can pursue their careers without drowning in debt just makes sense.”
Administered by the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), the Alfond Leaders program grants will be awarded through a competitive application progress to approximately 150 students over the next three years.