RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- An effort to pull more engineers and technology workers into North Carolina public school classrooms is gaining steam.

A tuition-free program in its first year is putting engineers and others with science and math skills into academic-year internships that help the aspiring teachers find their way around a classroom. The application deadline is Jan. 15 for the second group with science and math career backgrounds looking to move into teaching next fall.

North Carolina is one of a number of states increasing the focus on science, technology, engineering and math, also called the STEM subjects.

The hope is the added effort will beef up a workforce with the training needed for high-wage and high demand careers in knowledge-based companies.

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