Taking a page from the Teach for America playbook, a new program aims to put top college grads in entrepreneurial jobs in struggling U.S. cities.
Venture for America is recruiting 50 or more college seniors, and is looking for companies to match them with the students. Beginning in the fall of 2012, the students will take jobs at startups in Detroit, Providence, New Orleans, and other cities that have a hard time competing for talent with sexier locales.
Startups will hire the “fellows,” as they’re being called, for at least $32- $38,000 per year, for two years. Employers agree to pay the candidates’ healthcare benefits; contribute $2,500 into a training institute; host one event for Fellows; and more.
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In return, employers are getting their recruiting partially done for them, and a job candidate willing to venture outside of the Bostons and San Franciscos of the world.
Venture for America is also going to keep a database of resumes, transcripts, and essays of candidates who apply to the program, and will make that database available to companies, even those not participating in this program otherwise, to search. I’m told it’ll be free to use the database, with a “tax-deductible contribution of $1,000 – $2,000 upon successful hire by the company.”