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Promoting STEM Education Preparing your Company for Future Leaders

STEMconnector has been a stalwart champion of STEM education, as we have reported previously with their series of Town Hall Presentations, and they have continued this trend by hosting another webinar featuring 11 CEOs from their publication 100 CEO Leaders in STEM. Participants included Surya Kant of TCS North America, Jorge Benitez of Accenture, Al Bunshaft of Dassault Systemes, Anita Zucker of Intertech Group, Michael Araten of K'NEX, John Veihmeyer of KPMG, Steve Swad of Rosetta Stone, Eric Spiegel of SIemens Corporation, Sajan Pillai of UST Global, and Balaji Ganapathy of Tata Consultancy Services.
 
 Promoting-STEM-Education-Preparing-your-Company-for-Future-Leaders10-7-13Social-Media-fact-19These leaders understand there is a growing need for better STEM education – especially in the realms of technology and computer science – and that education is a critical factor when it comes to generating new ideas and innovations. Therefore, it is important for companies to show commitment and collaboration with schools to develop a better STEM education system that can equip students with the skills they need to succeed in college and their careers.
 
STEM is relevant to everyone. These subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math have the potential to transform not only the companies supporting the STEM initiative, but American communities and citizens as well. Jorge Benitez asserted that everyone will need these skills, and that STEM can open the doors to so many opportunities for students who might otherwise struggle economically throughout the rest of their lives. However, in order for STEM to change lives, companies must first support more effective and developed STEM programs. Benitez laid out some great suggestions for companies looking to do so.
 
Companies must:
◾Use the greatest resource – their people – and empower and motivate them to spread the word on the importance of STEM.
◾Anticipate the STEM skills they will need their workers and upcoming graduates to master, and create a system that fosters growth in those areas of need. Effective communication of those needs with education stakeholders is a vital step to ensuring that students are learning what they need to be successful in the workforce.
◾Companies also need to realize that no one organization can solve the STEM crisis, and that public-private partnerships are the key to fixing this problem.
 
Once companies start supporting STEM, though, what are the next steps to remedying the lack of STEM skills among students, graduates, and workers? To answer this question, Eric Spiegel offers some great pointers on how companies can help build real and marketable skills that people can actually use to get jobs.
 
They should:
◾Get more involved with the education system. Schools need to understand what they need to teach so that their students can meet the needs of potential employers, and companies can help guide them through this process.
◾Develop programs that students can participate in to train and get the skill sets they need in order to be successful. This type of collaborative effort would essentially close the skills gap in STEM and generate more qualified workers.
◾Help develop the school curriculum to match their needs with what is being taught to the students. This would create a more streamlined and unified process to help get graduates into the right kinds of jobs.
 
No matter what companies do to help fix the STEM crisis, a shared vision for the future – which is what STEMconnnector is aiming to create – will help create stronger partnerships between companies, schools, and the public-private sectors, which will in turn expand these STEM efforts even further.
 
NMSI has already experienced this kind of expansion with our Comprehensive AP Program, by collaborating with other nonprofits and all branches of government to help transform schools into college- and career-ready centers. We are more determined than ever to raise the success rates of classrooms across the nation, and we applaud the work that STEMconnector is doing to better promote STEM.
 
Click the Button to Tweet! - #STEM can transform companies, communities & citizens, but we must collaborate to make it happen. #edchat