The Tobacco Commission is accepting applications for the Student Loan Repayment Talent Attraction Program (TAP) through April 30.
The purpose of the Talent Attraction Program (TAP) is to encourage recent graduates to live in the tobacco region and work in targeted, hard-to-fill occupations in the tobacco region by providing up to $12,000 annually in student loan repayment with a two-year commitment. Loan repayment awards may be renewed for another two years if eligible with a maximum award of $48,000.
The TAP program requires that recipients have specific, desired credentials, contribute meaningfully to their communities through civic engagement, and work in occupations for which there is currently a workforce shortage. Moreover, by providing large individual awards, this program seeks to truly incentivize people to change their career plan and locate in the Tobacco Region.
To be eligible for the TAP program, recipients must:
Have graduated (or will graduate) between March 15, 2019, and December 31, 2021, with a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education, public or private, in-state or out-of-state;
Be able to legally work in the U.S.;
Live within the Tobacco Region during the 24-month period of employment in which the award is made:
Become significantly civically engaged in their community by volunteering with local non-profit or government activities, such as the United Way, Ruritan Club, Junior League, PTA, citizen committee for local government, local fire/EMS, food banks, youth sports coach, etc., with a total annual engagement of at least 50 hours of work:
Have qualifying educational loans;
Begin full-time employment in the tobacco region within six months of the award letter or graduation, whichever is later, and work for 24 months in one of the following occupations in the tobacco region: Public School Teacher in Science, Math, Technology/Computer Science, or Career and Technical Education (Grades 6-12); Public School Special Education Teacher (K-12); Speech Language Pathologist; Physical Therapist; Occupational Therapist; Industrial or Electrical Engineer; Information Security, Network, or Computer Systems Analyst.
The total number of awards will be based on available funding and loan balances of eligible applicants. Priority will be given to graduates who are from Tobacco Region localities – those whose permanent residence was in the Tobacco Region for at least 12 months prior to attending college.