Congresswoman Fudge Unveils the Project Ready STEM Act of 2012: Prepares Minority Youth for Jobs of the 21st Century
WASHINGTON D.C. -- Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) today announced her introduction of The Project Ready STEM Act of 2012. This legislation, H.R.4366, is designed to improve opportunities for minority youth to be prepared for jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Congresswoman's measure addresses critical disparities in student achievement in math and science at the middle school and high school level by expanding learning opportunities for youth who are currently under-represented in STEM fields through afterschool and summer programs operated by community-based affiliates.
Studies have found that African American college students enter college with STEM majors at a rate of 20%, but only 15% actually received a bachelor's degree in a STEM major. In the workforce, 72% of STEM related jobs are occupied by Whites, while Black and Hispanic workers occupy only 6%.
"Bridging the achievement gap in math, technology and other STEM fields is crucial to the future of our children and our nation. Without the opportunity to develop skills necessary to compete for STEM-related jobs, many students of color may be consigned to a lifetime of lower wages," said Congresswoman Fudge.
"It's also important to realize that our ability to effectively compete in a global marketplace hinges on developing a workforce with 21st century skills. Despite improvements in test scores, U.S. 15-year-olds lagged behind students from 17 other nations in math and fell behind 15‑year-olds from 12 other nations in science. We cannot afford to ignore the potential of any student and must do a better job preparing students who are currently under represented in STEM fields."
The Project Ready STEM Act builds on a program of quality in-school, afterschool and summer programs operated by the National Urban League to encourage high school graduation, increase STEM related coursework and promote greater awareness and acceptance of career choices in science, technology, engineering and math.
Contact: Belinda Prinz