Conference will examine and recommend concrete solutions to skills crisis in science, technology, and related fields
Washington, D.C. (June 27, 2012)—America’s economic recovery today and its competitive strength in the decades ahead will depend more than ever on a workforce armed with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. With that reality in mind, Corporate Voices for Working Families, as a conference co-chair, is joining more than 1,000 experts and visionaries from the worlds of business, education, government and policy advocacy this week at STEM Solutions 2012, a leadership summit focused on preparing the next generation of workers with STEM and STEM-capable skills and expertise. The summit, beginning today in Dallas, is hosted by U.S. News & World Report.
Corporate Voices is the leading national business membership organization shaping conversations and collaborations on public and corporate policy issues involving working families. Our workforce readiness portfolio reflects our conviction that employers must be active partners in preparing a robust talent pipeline of skilled workers, while helping Americans succeed in school, on the job and throughout life.
As John Wilcox, Executive Director and COO, notes, “Many of our corporate partners are facing an urgent need to increase their talent pipeline of skilled workers, especially in STEM fields. Today, and in the near future, all jobs will require some level of STEM-capable skills. The widely documented shortage of Americans with STEM skills occurs amid labor market projections of rapid growth in STEM-related occupations over the coming decades.”
To address this need and help ensure that American employers have access to top STEM talent, Corporate Voices focuses on researching and widely disseminating model collaborations between private employers, higher education, and community-based organizations to prepare workers with skills that have value in today’s labor market. In particular, we are documenting a range of successful programs of study offered by community colleges across the nation that are graduating students with expertise in the traditional STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math, but also with “STEM-capable” skills that are increasingly important in virtually all sectors of today’s dynamic economy. Moreover, we are exploring ways that employers can help create pathways to employment in STEM-related fields for low-income youth and disconnected young adults. These and other examples of innovative partnerships are available from Corporate Voices’ growing library of case studies at www.cvworkingfamilies.org/our-work/pse/micro_cases.
At this week’s STEM Summit, Corporate Voices helped organize and will participate in two conference sessions. One panel will consider the unique role of community colleges in educating STEM-capable workers, and will explore ways in which “Learn & Earn” partnerships between schools and employers can help working Americans earn postsecondary credentials in STEM occupations. Another session will focus on STEM opportunities for disadvantaged youth, drawing in part on Corporate Voices’ work with the White House Council on Community Solutions, an effort to ensure pathways to employment for disconnected young adults.
Corporate Voices’ workforce readiness initiatives, including our STEM work, are supported by our major philanthropic partners, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
About Corporate Voices for Working Families
Corporate Voices for Working Families is the leading national business membership organization shaping conversations and collaborations on public and corporate policy issues involving working families. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, Corporate Voices creates and advances innovative policy solutions that reflect a commonality of interests among the private sector, government and other stakeholders. Corporate Voices is a unique voice that provides leading and best-practice employers a forum to improve the lives of working families, while strengthening our nation’s economy and enhancing the vitality of our communities. Publications, research studies and toolkits on a host of workforce readiness, workplace flexibility, family economic stability and work and family balance issues are available online at http://www.corporatevoices.org.
About STEM Solutions 2012
U.S. News STEM Solutions 2012—A Leadership Summit is a mission-critical event focused on the shortage of science- and tech-related skills in the American workforce. U.S. News & World Report, together with Innovate+Educate, STEMConnector™ and more than 40 key organizations will bring together for the first time on a national stage major corporations, leading educators, top policy makers and education technology companies to create a collective that will fill jobs now and advance the future STEM workforce. The conference is being held June 27 – 29, 2012 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas.