- A new educational initiative to help encourage more women to enter STEM careers has been launched in the Detroit area, the Detroit Free Press reports. As a state, Michigan reports 100,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs, many of which are in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
- Analysts say this has to do with outdated views of manufacturing, which makes up a large share of the industry in the state, combined with lack of information being communicated about career opportunities.
- Developed by Inforum and Bosch Community Foundation to create more awareness about STEM careers for men and women, the inSTEM initiative was launched. The idea is to develop a pipeline of trained talent in the automotive and STEM industries. The program provides women mentors for K-12 STEM educational programs to serve as role models and consulting partners to improve learning.
Like many other states, Michigan has carefully evaluated its future workforce needs and is putting a great deal of effort into investing in K-12 learning in critical areas of the STEM market. This new initiative, headed up by powerful employers in the region, provides an important opportunity for young women and men to find role models that they can learn from and develop real careers.
Similar educational programs are not only happening in the schools. Some programs are recruiting high school students for internships leading to future career placement. For many in the manufacturing industry, the key is breaking through that image gap early on, and exposing young people to the myriad of opportunities in an industry long seen as backbreaking or without room for growth.
Is the initiative enough to encourage more women to get into STEM career paths? This remains to be seen, but it seems a step in the right direction.