Our STEM Initiative & Mission
Our nation continues to face resource shortages in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers which threatens America’s growth and competitiveness.
There are two contributing factors to this issue: 1) Skills Gap: US Census shows 9.3 million unemployed, but 4.7 million STEM jobs unfilled, and 2) reduction in STEM pipeline: Today, only 15% of undergraduates are STEM majors, not enough to meet our nation’s demand.
Delaware is no different and has been working diligently to address this problem with multiple programs to stimulate interest in STEM education and careers for all Delawareans. Most of these programs are based upstate and although open to Sussex County, the travel distance, as well as inconsistent communications of STEM-related events to Sussex county participants make it difficult for those residing and working here to participate.
There exists no formal dissemination of STEM related information from K-12 – higher education – STEM- related industry in Sussex County. Many schools, parents and students are not aware of STEM-related fields of study available to students in Sussex County higher education institutions. Furthermore, many students enrolled in Sussex county institutions of higher education institutions are not aware of the many STEM-related career opportunities available to them in this county.
As a result of these challenges, I am creating an alliance of all STEM Stakeholders including educators, consumers (industry, government, organizations, etc.), legislators, and families in Sussex County to focus on our region’s specific needs in addressing the gap and pipeline issues. This alliance will create, foster, support and promote programs that:
- assist in the development or adoption of stronger and more standardized STEM curricula
- increase student awareness of, interest in and pursuit of STEM education/careers
- encourage curricular alignment among educational organizations
- develop awareness of opportunities available to highly qualified STEM educators to attract them to Sussex County
- graduate high performing students with expertise
- create strong pathways to the STEM-related workforce in fulfillment of the employment needs in Sussex County.
I hope that you will help support these initiatives by joining Sussex County STEM Alliance so that we can help position Sussex County, Delaware be among the national leaders in STEM advocacy and awareness.
Thank you in advance,
Michael J. Maksymow, Jr.