STEM Industry Workforce Partnership Program
We need to prepare our children for real jobs. This requires an understanding of (1) the workforce needs of employers and (2) how employers can increase the number of qualified candidates to meet these needs. Through the STEM Industry Partners program, we partner with companies to solve the challenge of recruiting and retaining a workforce with advanced STEM skills.
Now that we are announcing our first class of Partnership Organizations - organizations with the experience and vision to prepare our children for STEM careers -- we are starting a conversation with companies that might lead to partnerships with Pat's Foundation. Learning more about each other is always to the first step. Partnerships between companies and Pat's Foundation once a company and the Foundation agree that there is value in working together to solve this problem. Two initiatives have been developed to advance the Industry Workforce Partnership program: Industry Round Table conferences and the STEM Industry Career Match
Industry Round Tables
As our conversations with companies advance from becoming acquainted to working together, Pat's Foundation will convene a series of Round Table conferences to share our ideas. Round Tables are an excellent forum for sharing experiences and developing solutions. One organization that is well-known for using the Round Table method is the Aspen Institute. Like the Aspen Institute, the goal of our Round Tables will be to recommend solutions.
We anticipate that the first series will address issues related to the challenges that the STEM industry currently encounters in recruiting and retaining women, minorities, and adults who were raised in low-income households Those present at the Round Table will be members of our network of young STEM professionals - many who are members of the groups that are least represented in the STEM fields - STEM industry corporate representatives, and select Partner Organization leaders. The recommendations resulting from each Round Table will be shared with industry and used by the Foundation to refine our programs. The recommendations will be also shared on social media and with traditional media outlets.
STEM Industry Career Match
The STEM Industry Career Match initiative connects our Industry Workforce Partners to the STEM workforce pipeline. It matches companies that depend on having a workforce with advanced STEM skills with promising STEM students who are at the crossroad of career choice.
The match process begins by identifying Industry Workforce Partner workforce skill needs and inviting Partner Organizations to nominate sophomore year high school students to apply for a match. Eligible students will have already demonstrated through their performance in a Partner Organization program, their aptitude for and commitment to entering one of the STEM fields. Student applicants will be required to submit a four-year plan for how they will use the stipend to help them reach their career goals.
We have selected a four-year time frame as research indicates that the sophomore year of high school is when student become seriously interested in pursuing a STEM career. Studies indicate that a student's final career choice over the next five years is critical. They are faced with difficult coursework, a new social environment, and few connections with people who are currently using STEM-skills in the workplace. Without proper support, most students abandon the idea of pursuing a STEM career by their sophomore year in college. We believe that the components of the STEM Industry Career Match program address these challenges and be a bridge to help students move their STEM career aspirations forward.
Top applicants will be matched to Industry Workforce Partner companies that need the skills that a student plans to obtain. Once matched, students will be required to provide the Foundation with reports of their progress with their plan. An evaluation of the student's process will be conducted by the Pat's Foundation, the company that is matched with the student, and the Partner Organization that nominated the student. Students will be responsible for updating the career plan for each year the match is active.
The match company will be asked to commit to a sponsoring a student. Each student sponsorship is eligible fore renewal for up to five-years. Sponsorship renewals will be based on annual evaluation of the student's progress in meeting their career plan objectives and on the quality of the career plan update. Sponsoring companies will provide the student with a small annual stipend for each year that the match is active. The match company will provide the student with a summer apprenticeship at one of their facilities beginning the end of the student's sophomore year of high school through their senior year of high school. And if the match is productive, then we will encourage the match company to provide the student with a summer internship at the end of their freshman and sophomore years of college.