Local Businesses & Schools Connect to Grow STEM Field

Everyone’s talking about STEM and how important it is to have a connection to the future talent pool – but how do you get started? What exactly is work-based learning? How to develop programs for students? How to get others on board in my company?

These are some of the questions we hear from our client customers. To answer and address some of them, we hosted an event with our friends in the region. Our panel included 2 hiring managers that have started STEM programs in their workplace and a representative whose organization connects employers and students to work together.

The goal was to get educators and businesses together to talk about bridging the gap between the increased demand for a growing workforce in STEM related fields and educating students about career opportunities available to them. The panelists helped businesses learn how to start connecting with the future workforce at earlier ages. Each of them addressed how business can plant the seed about what types of careers and jobs are available for students.

But, how do corporations get started? And what types of ways are there to connect with students?

Our business panelists talked about working directly with the schools and connector programs to create initiatives that can match their work environment. The ability to talk in the classroom and do hands on activities will leave a lasting impression for students of many ages. Also, having students tour a company and spend time either working on a project or visiting different departments can help students get a greater understanding of career options available.

Another critical step is getting buy-in from coworkers and company leadership. A STEM program can’t succeed without several people interested in participating and spearheading the program. This can’t be done by only 1-2 people, but a dedicated group of 6- 10+ can make a program come to life. It takes a true interest in participating, rather than a company mandate for a program to succeed.

Taking your program to the next level utilizing school staff and connector programs will help you create a program that will fit your company’s unique needs and environment.

Does your company have a STEM program? Tell us how you got started.

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