The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and the Siemens Foundation have joined forces to raise the profile of middle-skill jobs in STEM fields and the community college programs that deliver first-rate preparation of young adults for such jobs.
According to the Aspen Institute, the U.S. higher education system is not adequately delivering the credentials needed, resulting in projected shortages in skilled workers in some fields for at least the next decade. It’s this growing shortage of tech-savvy front-line workers that threatens the growth of American businesses and our country’s economic competitiveness.
In a recent study, cited by the Aspen Institute, about half of all STEM jobs in the United States require no more than an associate’s degree and pay wages that average more than $50,000 annually.
As a way to help highlight the educational institutions that are successful in training people for middle-skill STEM jobs and the value of those jobs, the Siemens Technical Scholars Program was formed.
Among the things the program aims to accomplish is:
- Reward current students and recent graduates — Siemens Technical Scholars — with scholarships between $3,500 and $10,000. Their stories demonstrate the enormous value middle-skill STEM jobs can bring to students and their families.
- Tell the stories of Siemens Technical Scholars regionally and nationally using high-quality video and written profiles, helping to set the standard for young adults’ preparation for and success in middle-skill jobs.
- Identify exemplary programs from top community colleges nationally that deliver exceptional training for middle-skill STEM jobs.
- Develop and publish lessons about highly effective community college programs that lead to middle-skill STEM jobs.
Jermaine Gaddis is one Siemens Technical Scholar whose life has been changed through this program. You can watch his story below.