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Move to Hamilton, get a “scholarship”: New program gets the city’s endorsement

Hamilton lent its endorsement last week to a program that will pay down the student loans of recent college or trade-school graduates who move into the city.

Hamilton City Council’s 7-0 approval of the program does not authorize the city to administer or spend money on the program, which instead will be run by the Hamilton Community Foundation using money it has or donations for the program. But while the city isn’t participating in the program, leaders are thankful for the community foundation’s efforts, which are expected to draw young, educated people to the city.

The “Talent Attraction Program Scholarships” are competitive.

RELATED: How Hamilton is trying to attract more educated residents: Scholarships

“Definitely, we want to make sure our area colleges are aware of this, so we’ll be communicating with them,” Katie Braswell, vice president of the foundation, told this media outlet.

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Applicants cannot live in Hamilton at the time of the application process, which starts March 5.

They must have graduated within the past seven years from a “STEAM” program, meaning Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. They must have at least $5,000 in outstanding student debt.

They also must move into Hamilton’s urban core, which includes the specific neighborhoods of Downtown/Central Business District, Riverview, German Village, Dayton Lane or Rossville.

Glenn Holmes, a recent employee in Hamilton’s fellowship program, last year told City Council, “Less than two decades ago, at the turn of the century, our poverty rate was only 13 percent. Today more than one in five Hamiltonians live in poverty.”

The solution, he said, is a better-educated population.

MORE: Staffer says Hamilton needs college grads

City Manager Joshua Smith before the vote thanked the community foundation, as well as Jim Cohen of Blue Ash-based CMC Properties, developer of The Marcum project downtown of apartments and businesses, “for really pushing the idea in front of us, to explore further. But without the Hamilton Community Foundation, this would never have happened.”

“Obviously, they’re administering the program, paying for the program, so a huge thank-you to them.”

The program has received wide praise throughout the city’s administration.

“It’s being so popularly received by the entire region,” said Mayor Pat Moeller. “What a great assist by the foundation.”

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