Workforce Education

Three Reasons We're Excited About Our New Partnership With K12, Inc.

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In August, we officially announced a $9 million strategic investment from K12 Inc., a nation-wide leader in online curriculum and school programs for students in pre-K through high school. This investment signals an incredible expansion of our mission to connect talented students everywhere with the colleges, businesses, and organizations which are seeking them.

Needless to say, we’re excited about this opportunity. But we shouldn’t be the only ones. Any organization - academic or professional - which relies on recruiting to keep their talent pipeline flowing should share our enthusiasm. Here’s why.

We share a mission

Like us, K12 believes that every person - and student - is unique, and seeks to provide online educational solutions tailor-made for each student’s needs and goals. K12 offers comprehensive public and private school experiences as well as individualized and supplemental course options. Its award-winning curriculum is comprised of core subjects, including foreign languages, as well as AP, honors, STEM, and dual-credit offerings.

“Attracting the investment of a national leader in educational technology,” says our CEO Casey Welch, “will provide us the opportunity to accelerate both of our companies’ missions.”

We share a vision of the future of workforce development

As a result of this partnership, the STEM Premier platform will be incorporated into K12’s nationwide Career Technical Education (CTE) programs in order to more successfully match its participants with in-demand jobs across the country.

Known as Destinations Career Academies, these K12-managed programs allow their students to pursue practical career-readiness coursework alongside their core classes which will prepare them for professional success across a variety of industries such as health sciences, information technology, agriculture, architecture, and construction. Extracurricular activities like work-based experiences and competitions allow students to further enhance their professional and academic development. As a result, thousands of students are earning their diplomas already well-prepared for their next step, whether it be a job, the military, or further education.

“Our strategic investment in STEM Premier will develop a robust talent pipeline of skilled workers empowered to thrive in the 21st century business environment,” says K12 Chairman & CEO Nate Davis.

We share an ever-growing online environment of talent

What this means for organizational users of STEM Premier  is that they will immediately gain access to even greater numbers of diverse students across the nation. This will be especially beneficial for industries which face severe skills gaps.

“Incorporating STEM Premier into our Destinations portfolio,” says Davis, “will prove to be a powerful force in matching students with hard-to-fill job opportunities in fields like healthcare, IT, construction and manufacturing.”

Those familiar with the “network effect” which makes social media platforms like Facebook so dynamic will understand the impact this will have on STEM Premier’s online environment. As more users join, the more powerful of a tool it becomes for everyone involved.

This investment will allow our user base to grow exponentially, providing organizations with the ability to connect, engage, and recruit individuals who would otherwise have gone unnoticed. For our student users, their opportunities will be vastly expanded as we continue to lower the barriers which once forced them into traditional - and outdated - avenues of educational and professional growth. It doesn’t matter if they’re from South Carolina, South Dakota or South Chicago. Everyone will have their chance to shine on STEM Premier.

We’re pumped about this. We hope you are too.  

South Carolina Ports Authority Holds First STEM Premier Signing Day

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The ink had just begun to dry on Anthony Richburg Jr.’s letter of intent when he donned the Carolina blue helmet and gave the cameras a bright smile along with two excited thumbs up.

No, he hadn’t just signed to play for the UNC Tarheels; rather, the promising 18-year-old had chosen to begin his professional career with The South Carolina Ports Authority.  

In its first-ever “Signing Day” on June 19, SPCA was proud to have landed the recent North Charleston High School graduate, a promising student they would have never found if not for his STEM Premier profile.

“We welcome Anthony Richburg to our team as the Port’s first hire from the STEM Premier partnership,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome, “and look forward to continuing to engage with local high schools on job opportunities at the Port and ways to prepare for a maritime industry career.”

The event was held - fittingly - at the The Union Pier Passenger Terminal in Downtown Charleston. Anthony was accompanied by his mother and stepfather as well as SPCA Vice President Barbara Melvin and Director Rusty Matthews, who made the decision to hire Anthony.

After initially discovering Anthony’s profile on STEM Premier, representatives from SPCA contacted him via the platform’s direct messaging tool. Through direct contact and networking opportunities facilitated with STEM Premier, SPCA and Anthony built a relationship which culminated in his signing day commitment in June.

Identifying and connecting with Anthony early on was vital in regards to his ultimate decision. That same type of engagement will be the future for SPCA’s recruitment efforts.

“The Ports Authority and greater maritime community employ more than 9,000 people locally, and we’re pleased to partner with STEM Premier to raise awareness of the Port among students in the Tri-County region as part of our recruitment strategy for the next generation of our workforce,” Newsome said.

“Partnering with proactive companies like SCPA,” says STEM Premier Co-Founder Casey Welch, “who understand and appreciate the importance of early engagement is vital in helping to identify, engage, and recruiting the future workforce while also retaining top talent from the Charleston area like Anthony.”

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New Research Reveals STEM Workforce Trends

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A recently published report by the Pew Research Center has shed light on some intriguing trends in regards to STEM employment and education in the U.S. While some of the findings may be old news or simply confirmation of already widely-accepted beliefs, the research nevertheless provides some interesting data.

Utilizing U.S. Census Bureau data, the report focused primarily on STEM primarily as it relates to gender and ethnic diversity. However, some broads trends are also revealed. Here are just a few of the major conclusions presented by the report.

  1. The STEM workforce continues to grow: From 1990 to 2016, employment in the STEM fields has grown a remarkable 79%, from approximately 9.7 million workers to 17.3 million. While a large fraction of STEM professionals work in the healthcare industry, most of this growth has occurred in the area of computer science. Employment growth in this area was an astronomical 338% between 1990 and 2016. This comes as no suprise to us at STEM Premier, where many of our student users have indicated professional interests in both the healthcare and computer science areas.

  2. Roughly 1 in 3 STEM workers do not possess a bachelor’s degree: Although most people would tend to associate STEM workers with high levels of education, the truth is that many STEM positions are being filled by individuals who possess the necessary skills, despite lacking a four-year degree. In fact, 35% of the STEM workforce lacks a bachelor’s degree. 15% report having an associate degree and 14% report having some college education but no degree.

  3. The representation of women varies by STEM discipline: Females represent roughly 75% of healthcare practitioners and technicians. Of the 9 million workers in the industry, nearly 6.7 million of them are female. However, in other areas, female representation is much smaller. This is most marked in engineering (14%) and computer science (25%) industries.

When it comes to the next generation of talented professionals, STEM Premier is on the front lines. That means we are in a unique position to foresee many of these trends playing out. But it also means that we are able to see new trends developing. For instance, despite the low representation of females in the engineering and computer science fields, many female students on our platform have indicated interest in these career areas.

Want to find out who they are? Create an account and start connecting today!

STEM Premier Announces Partnership with Penn College

To be successful, you have to work with the best. That’s why we are excited to announce our newest partnership. Pennsylvania College of Technology, in collaboration with UGI Utilities Inc., will be using the STEM Premier platform to enhance their STEM recruitment and job placement efforts.

 Pennsylvania College of Technology - also known as Penn College - is a public institution located in Williamsport, PA providing comprehensive, hands-on technical education at the baccalaureate and associate degree levels. After establishing a strong national reputation for workforce development, it became an affiliate institution of Penn State University in 1989. The College currently boasts an enrollment of 5,500 students and a 95% graduate placement rate.

 What makes Penn College a national leader in applied technology education is the commitment to their core values: an emphasis on hands-on education, a student-centered environment, strong business and industry partnerships, and a diverse community built on respect. STEM Premier plans to contribute to these values.   

 “The STEM Premier partnership will be a tremendous asset for both prospective and current students and serve as a valuable tool for employers recruiting our students,” said Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost. “As a national leader in applied technology education, we are acutely aware that the workforce needs an influx of STEM talent. Partnering with STEM Premier will help us identify and nurture that talent.”

 “STEM Premier is honored to help foster this partnership between two premier institutions like Pennsylvania College of Technology and UGI,” says STEM Premier Co-Founder John Welch, “to assist students in connecting with employers to not only find a job, but more importantly a career!”