Only 15% of respondents on average say their company actively offers, sponsors or directly supports STEM learning opportunities for K-12 and vocational school students. The numbers are most alarming when broken down by elementary school grades – a crucial age for children to engage with STEM subjects, according to the National Science Foundation. Only 9% of companies engage with grades K-2 and 10% engage with grades 3-5. There’s a correlation between early exposure to STEM and later success in those subjects or in school.
To increase key learning opportunities at a young age, CTA is partnering with Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington (BGCGW). BGCGW provides STEM program opportunities to all their youth. Nearly 70% of their members report only receiving STEM education through their participation with BGCGW. Of those participants, 91% report that they believe the knowledge they’ve gained from these programs will help best prepare them to find a job. “It is through the support of corporate partners that BGCGW is able to consistently provide this imperative programming that ultimately sets members up for success in adulthood,” says CEO Gabrielle Webster.
Rethinking hiring practices creates a more inclusive workplace and new opportunities to invest in the workforce pipeline. At the same time, the U.S. tech industry has a responsibility to work with educational institutions – from kindergarten to college – to ensure students have the right skills to be valuable and productive employees.
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