workforce

Efforts abound to increase female participation in STEM

As opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) develop around the country, different inclusion programs are being put in place to increase participation for women in the field. SSTI previously released an article highlighting the lack of female participation in certain STEM careers, like computer science and engineering, despite tech industries growing in different cities around the country. This week’s story focuses on different efforts that are in place to help turn that tide and increase women’s participation in STEM fields and the results the efforts are having.

NSF builds semiconductor workforce through concurrent Micron and Intel partnerships

In an effort to alleviate the nationwide shortage of semiconductors, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) announced two cross-sector partnerships, one with Intel Corp. and the other partnership with Micron Technology, Inc. NSF plans to invest $10 million in combination with the companies from each partnership in support of research, education, infrastructure building, and workforce development for semiconductor design and manufacturing.

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.

ARC POWER Initiative awards $47 million to diversify Appalachian economies

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently announced its largest POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative funding package. This funding package awards nearly $47 million to 52 projects in 181 counties to support economic diversification and mitigate job losses from coal-related industries in Appalachian communities. 

New report highlights federal bioeconomy policy considerations in R&D, regional promotion, and workforce development

On the heels of President Biden’s recent announcement of a Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative to boost the United States bioeconomy, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has released The Bioeconomy: A Primer, which examines the future of the bioeconomy, explores the United States’ competitiveness in global bioeconomy efforts, and notes the current lack of federal coordination on building the bioeconomy. To address this lack of coordination, the report urges Congress to develop a more comprehensive national strategy for establishing the bioeconomy.   

Job Quality Toolkit aims to move dialogue on quality jobs and retaining workers

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program at NIST recently released the Job Quality Toolkit which outlines eight “drivers of job quality.” The toolkit aims to enhance the discussion around job quality, becoming an “actionable tool… to improve the quality of every job,” which will improve employee recruitment and retention.

Recent survey explores perceptions of higher education

The recently published, 2022 edition of New America’s annual survey on American perceptions of higher education, Varying Degrees, includes findings that should be of interest – and potential concern – for the TBED community. The report includes updated findings on American perceptions of the value, funding, accountability, and admissions for higher education and perceptions of current financial security. It also reveals significant differences in perceptions of higher education based on respondents’ political affiliations.

MA life sciences workforce grows 131 percent, recommendations outlined to continue momentum

Moving away from four-year degree programs and toward apprenticeships is one of the recommendations to help ease the workforce shortage experience in the life sciences industry. This and other recommendations are part of a recently released report from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, also known as MassBio, on workforce trends in the life sciences industry in Massachusetts. The report also offers recommendations for short- and long-term solutions and strategies for building the workforce in the life sciences industry in Massachusetts that might have applicability in other regions.

Massachusetts governor proposes $3.5B economic development package, including $750M for clean energy

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito are urging Massachusetts legislators to act on their proposed  legislation  that includes $3.5 billion in clean energy and economic development initiatives. The bill includes $2.3 billion in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and over $1.256 billion in capital bond authorizations to support projects to strengthen state infrastructure, create jobs and invest in all 351 cities and towns in the state. The legislation, called An Act Investing in Future Opportunities for Resiliency, Workforce, and Revitalized Downtowns (FORWARD), includes $1.2 billion in ARPA funds for climate resiliency and preservation efforts, with more than half of that designated for the commonwealth’s clean energy industry.

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