Education and job training are critical components of prosperity for California and its communities. An educated workforce equipped with the skills they need to succeed in the jobs of tomorrow is beneficial to all industries. In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it’s more important than ever that our youth are prepared to bring knowledge and expertise to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions. These are the kinds of skills that students develop in science, technology, engineering, and math — disciplines collectively known as STEM. The energy industry agrees, and has elected to focus significant funding efforts toward STEM, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars annually. STEM is proven to provide the career and technical training that can not only lead directly to well-paying jobs, but also to a thriving community.
Why does the energy industry support STEM? Studies by ACT.org have repeatedly concluded that:
- Workers in the STEM fields are in high demand.
- The number of STEM occupations in the U.S. will grow by 8.9% between 2014 and 2024.
- Policymakers at all levels of government are emphasizing the importance of educating students for STEM-related jobs, including federal Department of Education grant prioritization to STEM-related proposals.
The industry has collaborated with leading universities to embrace a comprehensive approach to investing in education by getting students excited about STEM and encouraging them to pursue STEM courses and, ultimately, STEM careers. In addition to endorsing educational standards and proven curricula that promote project- and problem-based learning, the industry supports teacher training, provides classroom resources, and funds after-school activities as well. It has also formed partnerships with educational resources designed to strengthen faculty, curricula, and student development. After all, today’s school-aged children are tomorrow’s engineers, scientists, and educators.