Report Finds STEM Jobs Still on the Rise

The nation’s unemployment rate remains high and jobs are scarce, yet workers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields remain in high demand.

report from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that STEM jobs have grown three times as fast as non-STEM jobs over the last decade. Last year, the almost 8 million Americans who worked in STEM fields represented only about 6 percent of the entire labor force. Yet, the country relies on these workers to drive America’s competitiveness and innovation.

U.S. Dept. of Commerce: Recent and Projected Growth in STEM and Non-STEM Employment

The low supply of available STEM workers translates into higher wages and less joblessness than non-STEM employees. Even STEM degree holders working in non-STEM fields benefit similarly. The future for STEM jobs continues to looks bright, as the Department of Commerce projects STEM jobs will continue to grow at a much faster rate than non-STEM jobs.

STEM jobs include professional and technical support occupations in computer science and mathematics, engineering, and life and physical sciences. Career Technical Education (CTE) students in the STEM Career Cluster are prepared for further education or careers in these high-wage, high-demand fields through rigorous academic and technical training.

Via Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst, kherbertson@careertech.org, NASDCTEc Blog.

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NSF aims to make grant process easier for two-year colleges

To broaden its impact among two-year colleges, the National Science Foundation (NSF) asked community college educators to explain the challenges they face when applying for grants and suggest emerging issues the NSF should consider funding.

“Frankly, I don’t think we’ve heard enough from you in the past and we want to have more dialogue,” Barbara Olds told about 300 community college educators attending a meeting the NSF convened this month in partnership with theAmerican Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

“We welcome your input” about the grants application process, said Olds, acting deputy assistant director and senior advisor for the NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

“We know just how important the community college experience is for what happens in all areas, and particularly science, technology, engineering, and math,” said NSF Deputy Director Cora Marrett. She also asked community college educators to share their insights on the revision of two merit review criteria by sending comments to her online by July 14.

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Legislative Update: Improve STEM Proficiency, Lifelong Learning Accounts, Community College Energy Training, STEM for Girls and Underrepresented Minorities

The House is in recess until May 23rd. The following bills were introduced recently:

Education Agenda to Improve STEM Proficiency

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) introduced S. 969, an innovation education agenda as part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The bill would award planning and implementation grants to state educational agencies to implement activities integrating engineering into K-12 instruction and curriculum. Additionally, evaluation grants would be provided to assess the performance of the program. The bill aims to graduate more STEM students, attract more STEM teachers, and raise science proficiency to restore America’s competitiveness.

Lifelong Learning Accounts Act

Rep. John Larson (CT) and several others reintroduced H.R. 1869, the Lifelong Learning Accounts Act (LiLA). The bill promotes continuing education as a way to improve job skills and promote workers’ marketability. LiLA would create worker-owned, employer-matched savings accounts to incentivize career-related skill development and to promote a competitive workforce through lifelong learning.

Community College Energy Training Act

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM) introduced H.R. 1881, the Community College Energy Training Act, to help community colleges provide clean energy workforce training. The bill would require the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Labor to establish a program at community colleges for workforce training in sustainable energy. The legislation currently has 24 cosponsors.

STEM for Girls, Underrepresented Minorities

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA) reintroduced H.R. 1903 to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to provide schools with grants to encourage girls and underrepresented minorities in fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Woolsey says that it’s important to address gender and racial gaps in the STEM field to provide more opportunities for all students, and also as a smart economic strategy for the country.

via NASDCTEC.

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