Tech Makers + Creative Thinkers
The Aspen Institute and the Siemens Foundation announced the 2018 eight-winning community college STEM programs of the first Siemens-Aspen Community College STEM Award, in recognition of the outstanding preparation and education those programs provide students seeking careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Each of the winning programs will receive a $50,000 award to use for bolstering their programs, attracting new talent and providing student scholarships.
The winning STEM programs range from nursing to telecommunications technology, and are hosted at the following community colleges: Broward College, Central New Mexico Community College, Hillsborough Community College, Miami Dade College, Ozarks Technical Community College, Mitchell Technical Institute, South Central College, and Valencia College.
There are more than five million jobs in STEM fields that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. These jobs pay wages that average more than $50,000 annually. Yet, employers throughout the country are experiencing and projecting significant shortages of qualified workers in many STEM fields.
To respond, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and the Siemens Foundation have partnered to create the Siemens-Aspen Community College STEM Award to elevate excellent middle-skill STEM programs at community colleges, the jobs these programs lead to, and the value they confer on students, their families, and their communities.
“There is a growing demand for specialized STEM skills that weren’t required a generation ago. Our nation is simply not developing enough talent in middle-skill STEM fields, limiting opportunity for individuals, growth for industries, and economic strength for communities,” said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. “Quality community college STEM programs are a pathway to job security and financial success for many students, and can help meet employer needs and strengthen our middle class.”
These community college program awards are now the first step in awarding scholarships to Siemens Technical Scholars, an exceptional group of diverse students from across the country who demonstrate excellence that matches the exceptional opportunities offered by today’s awardees. The 2018 Class of Siemens Technical Scholars will be announced in the fall. In a change from previous years, the Aspen Institute, in partnership with the community colleges that win the Siemens-Aspen Community College STEM Award, will select the students to be recognized as Siemens Technical Scholars. Students will be awarded scholarship funds between $3,500 and $10,000. Aspen will share those Scholars’ stories to showcase the economic opportunities provided through STEM middle-skill jobs.
“Our nation’s best community colleges are incredible engines of opportunity for students seeking rewarding careers in STEM fields,” said Joshua Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “This award recognizes colleges that provide an excellent education for talented students from every community, delivering on the promise of social mobility and lifelong opportunity.”