stem

Tackling the skills gap: Identifying in-demand and emerging technology skills

A recent State of Skills report by the Burning Glass Institute, the Business-Higher Education Forum, and Wiley identifies four emerging technical skill sets as the fastest growing in the country: artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), cloud computing, product management, and social media. The authors use these four skill sets to illustrate how businesses, education providers, and learners can best prepare for a changing and increasingly technology-driven labor market. 

NSF awards $40 million to help build diverse STEM workforce

The National Science Foundation recently announced the four 2022 NSF INCLUDES awardees. These new alliances will each receive $10 million over five years to contribute to building an inclusive STEM workforce. The awardees will tackle issues like increasing data science capacity at minority-serving institutions (MSIs), increasing the representation of Native American and Alaska Native students in STEM fields, and supporting equitable pathways to postdoctoral fellowship positions.

NSF announces new $30M program to grow the nation’s STEM workforce

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced a new initiative — the Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT) initiative and seeks proposals to address barriers in the STEM workforce by encouraging partnerships among industry, educational, and government organizations. The program estimates giving out 25 to 35 ExLENT awards that will last up to three years with a total budget of up to $1,000,000, with a total anticipated funding amount of $30 million. This initiative is part of a larger effort to expand the STEM workforce needed to solve significant societal challenges like climate change and clean energy and address rapidly evolving emerging technologies.

Tech industry is booming, but women’s participation continues to lag

In another illustration of how women’s participation in the tech industry continues to lag, SmartAsset recently released its annual report looking at Best Cities for Women in Tech. The report finds country-wide, the percentage of women in STEM is growing, but that growth is occurring at a dwindling rate, and that women make up only about 20% of the field’s total workforce. Detroit, Michigan, has the highest percentage of women tech workers (41.7%), according to SmartAsset. Irvine, California, was cited as having the lowest percentage (18.9%) of women tech workers. The report shared statistics for women’s participation in STEM in other cities as it relates to the industry growth with that area and their income.

NASA and DoD taking steps to diversify workforce, advance research capacity at HBCU/MSIs

In response to an executive order signed last year by President Biden to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the federal workforce, many federal organizations are evaluating the resources and opportunities available to minority groups. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) are taking steps to grow strong relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) to provide more opportunities for students and faculty members and promote diversity in the federal workforce.

DoD announces funding opportunity for STEM Community College Consortium

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) National Defense Education Program is seeking to strategically fund science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at 2-year institutions and community colleges through a consortium approach. DoD is planning five awards ranging between $5 million to $11 million with an aim to enhance the STEM workforce through regional consortia that will develop and encourage STEM ecosystems between 2-year institutions and/or community colleges and 4-year institutions, industry, local education agencies, and others in STEM education.

$2 million awarded to eight winners of EDA’s STEM Talent Challenge

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the eight winners of its STEM Talent Challenge, a national competition to receive funding for programs developed to train talent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This challenge encourages a resilient workforce to amplify the United States as a competitive force in STEM. Winning programs will receive up to $250,000 in awards and leverage another $2.5 million in matching funds from private and public sources.

Report encourages bold leadership to broaden participation in STEM

Broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is vital for encouraging innovative advancements in scientific research and developing a diverse STEM workforce that engages citizens from all backgrounds. The Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) 2019-2020 Biennial Report to Congress outlines plans to broaden participation in STEM by focusing on "Making Visible the Invisible."

Societal stereotypes keeping girls out of STEM

Societal stereotypes that depict girls as being less interested in computer science and engineering may be hindering girls from participating in those fields later in life, according to a recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors found that young children and adolescents endorsed gender-interest stereotypes, which negatively predict girls’ interest in pursuing computer science and engineering and sense of belonging in these fields.

EDA launches $2 million STEM Talent Challenge

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has launched the FY 2021 $2 million STEM Talent Challenge to support programs to train science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent and fuel regional innovation economies across the nation. The challenge will provide funding for work-and-learn programs to increase America’s workforce in emerging and transformative sectors such as space commerce, aeronautics, digital manufacturing, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity. 

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