Persistent workforce gaps in STEM fields can be solved by the increased participation and inclusion of more diverse students. However, this type of demographic shift will require, among many things, significant outreach efforts with students, educators, and parents. To increase the participation and retention of women and students of color in STEM education leading to careers in advanced manufacturing, the Toyota USA Foundation awarded the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) Education Foundation a $350,000 grant.
NAPE will develop a public relations/marketing campaign with promotional tools and outreach strategies for educators to use with students and parents at the K-12 and community college level. This two-year project is designed to increase the capacity of educators at high schools and community colleges across the nation to implement research-based effective outreach strategies. The collateral, tools and strategies developed as a result of this project will be leveraged through NAPE’s current professional development activities being implemented across the nation. With such a wide scope this grant can positively impact hundreds of thousands of females and students of color.
“Persistent workforce gaps in STEM fields can be solved by increased participation and inclusion of diverse students,” said Mike Goss, president, Toyota USA Foundation. “These investments will impact elementary, middle, high school, and community colleges across the country, and represent industry and education coming together to better prepare the nation’s youth.”
Mimi Lufkin, CEO of NAPE, responds to the recent granting: “We are excited to leverage our expertise in teacher training and workforce development to bridge high school programs, like Project Lead the Way’s pre-engineering program, with high demand and industry needs. This award provides a unique opportunity for NAPE to equip educators with the student-focused tools they need to increase student awareness, interest, and choice to enter into advanced manufacturing STEM careers.”