Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is extremely important in building a skilled talent pool for the manufacturing sector. We spoke with three representatives in our July webinar, Manufacturing Companies and an Educated Workforce, about their efforts to build effective STEM education programs.
Scott Hudson, principal manager, social responsibility and community outreach at the Alcoa Foundation, Jennifer Mandel, communications and public affairs manager at Lockheed Martin, , and Michele Walker-Moak, program manager, global community affairs atApplied Materials believe that encouraging interest in STEM fields is crucial for the future of manufacturing companies. They noted that a shortage of STEM-trained talent currently exists, and thus they focus their programs on engaging untapped demographic groups to help fill this void.
Three key themes emerged from our discussion of STEM education initiatives, and our participants shared their experiences with each:
Aligning Programs with Strategic Issues
One of the main themes that arose from our exchange is the significance of aligning educational programs with a company’s overall strategy. Taking this step increases the program’s effectiveness for it allows executives, employees, and other stakeholders to more easily see the value of the investment.