Field Building Hub Associate, Kasia Tazearslan, and WPTI’s Operations Manager, Saki Mori, attended the U.S. News & World Report STEM Solutions: Workforce of Tomorrow conference in Washington, D.C. on April 4-6. The conference brought together leaders across various industries, from corporate CEOs to university presidents, and influential board chairs to top policymakers, teachers, and workforce providers to address best practices for and challenges to building talent pipelines into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers.
The conference offered a series of workshops, engaging breakfast roundtable discussions, and panels. Sessions focused on effective partnerships models; how employers, educators, and other stakeholders are working together to understand the changing career landscape; what is necessary in order to train, hire and develop workers in high demand fields; how employers are investing in STEM education and training; and how companies are utilizing data to understand and communicate their talent needs.
In one of the conference workshops, Planning for the Workforce of Tomorrow: Where the Jobs will be, Hub Advisory Committee member, Jennie Sparandara (Executive Director of Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase & Co.) provided a perspective on how corporations are addressing their talent needs, and at the same time meet business objectives in the face of rising automation, an aging population, and new technology.
A highlight of the conference was the U.S. News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame ceremony. Four new members were inducted, including Ira Flatow (Host and Executive Producer of the NPR radio show “Science Friday”); France Cordova (Director of the National Science Foundation); Henry Samueli, (Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Broadcom); and James West, (Professor at the Johns Hopkins University). The laureates each started their professional journeys in science, technology, engineering, and math through hands-on experience, which is now called project-based learning and is a major strategy in attracting students into the STEM field.
Several resources and reports were shared at the conference; here are some we recommending reading:
- The Good Jobs Project provides data on the concentration of good jobs for non-BA workers both nationally and by state. The project focuses also on good jobs by industry and occupation;
- Dismissed by Degree (Harvard Business School) investigates degree inflation - the rising demand for a four-year college degree for jobs that previously did not require one and its effect on workforce;
- SkillSET offers free skills-based training and education through its SkillSET platform with self-paced training ranging from general business skills, basic digital literacy, and entrepreneurship to more advanced topics such as cyber-security, big data or Internet;
- Work in Progress (Business Roundtable) assesses skill gaps from the perspective of CEOs of the leading companies in the US;
- From College to Life (Gallup and Strada Education Network) report is the first in a three-part series examining how college courses affect consumer perceptions of the value and quality of their education as well as their general well-being.