In 2016, we embarked on a journey with the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) to launch SC Future Makers, an ambitious initiative to connect South Carolina’s business and the state’s talented students.
Powered by the STEM Premier platform, SC Future Makers provides a powerful resource for students, schools, and businesses to learn about each other and connect in meaningful, productive ways. And within just one year of its implementation, it’s clear that it’s making an impact throughout the state.
Already 43% of South Carolina’s high schools across 53 of the state’s 81 districts have adopted the SC Future Makers initiative, resulting in over 44,000 new student profiles on STEM Premier. This rapid growth is attributed to the flexibility that the initiative's online nature provides. “Unlike a career day,” explains James Richter, SCMA Director of Workforce Development “SC Future Makers profiles are available 24-7 and can be updated.”
And because high schools serve as the conduit for this opportunity, students can equally participate regardless of geography or socioeconomic background. As with all STEM Premier student profiles, registering and maintaining an account is free, allowing students to establish their presence and immediately begin connecting with employers.
“Companies and colleges need to reach students online, but do so in a relevant way,” says Richter. “Oftentimes social media posts are not the most effective way to communicate a larger story to students because that's their personal domain. By empowering students to showcase their interests in professional profiles and connect to opportunities, we're working in their domain in a different way.”
But despite this early success, STEM Premier and SCMA are not resting on their laurels. We’ve set new goals, intending to implement SC Future Makers in virtually every South Carolina high school and technical college while reaching 100,000 student profiles.