During our discussion about careers at the March 27 event at Hayes Middle School in West Virginia, many students indicated a desire to be a doctor or a veterinarian - careers traditionally popular among middle school-aged students. Loftis’ class, however, knows what it takes to get to these popular career choices. After participating in the STEM Scholars program, students demonstrate a better grasp of the STEM skills required to pursue these careers.
Our meeting on March 7, the first in a series led as a joint effort between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Lumina Foundation, kicked off an eight month sprint of work to improve the talent marketplace. All of the organizations involved are experts on today’s emerging technologies, such as semantic web standards (e.g., linked data), distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain), artificial intelligence, and machine learning. We know that these technologies have the power, if leveraged properly, to transform the talent marketplace and drive future innovation.
Despite historically low unemployment and a growing economy, hiring skilled workers remains a challenge in many of our nation’s key industries, such as manufacturing, construction, information technology, and healthcare. We know America’s young people have talent. Now it’s time to embrace the tools necessary to more effectively discover and guide that emerging talent to high demand careers.
Technology has transformed a lot of the things we do at work, but learning and development (L&D) has mostly stuck with the status quo. To attract and retain necessary talent, employers would be wise to nurture a learning culture and revisit their L&D strategy to make learning a strategic asset.
Breaking down STEM barriers starts in the classroom, providing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning in an inclusive digital environment. And this education shouldn’t be limited to high school students. Igniting STEM interest in middle school increases girls’ STEM interest later in their education.