STEM Partnership to Extend Beyond Prince William
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce was among the 200 business groups, educators and policymakers gathered at Micron Technology to celebrate the launch of SySTEMic Solutions’ regional expansion. Begun as an initiative of Northern Virginia Community College in 2010 in Prince William,Virginia, SySTEMic Solutions has become a public-private partnership dedicated to increasing interest in and access to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education at the K-12 levels.
Today, SySTEMic Solutions reaches 4,000 K-12 students in the Prince William Region. As the program expands regionally, it will grow to reach 50,000 K-12 students in three years.
“Only by building a pipeline of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) interested and skilled students can we possibly fill the jobs that will be needed in the next decade in our region,” said MTCI President & CEO Dalena Kanouse. She is also chairs the Prince William Chamber’s Community Outreach Committee.
The Prince William Chamber was the first to sign a Resolution of Support and Cooperation with NOVA pledging to engage its members in supporting the success of the program. The resolution includes commitments to develop work-based learning opportunities. To that end, the Chamber has added a free internship database to its www.pwchamber.org website.
“The new internship portal helps businesses connect with students to provide real-world work experience, preparing today’s students for success in the workforce of tomorrow,” said Prince William Chamber President & CEO Rob Clapper. The Chamber’s STEM Council, which targets the business needs of those in the science and technology-related industries, has stated that helping to develop a skilled pipeline of workers is a top priority. For the last several years, the group has involved area students in its annual Innovations Tech Expo.
Clapper added that his organization welcomes the expansion of SySTEMic Solutions, calling it a necessity to continued economic growth and prosperity in the region. The Arlington, Loudoun and Fairfax Chambers have also pledged their support to the program, along with other business groups such as the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance.
The event featured an overview of SySTEMic Solutions programs and its partnership model, describe how the business community can get involved. Speakers included Virginia Secretary of Education, the Honorable Laura Fornash and NVCC President Robert Templin. To learn more about SySTEMic Solutions, visit www.nvcc.edu/systemic.