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STEM Middle-Skill Initiative
The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges and recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.
Leveraging the existing Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the new Siemens Technical Scholars project recognizes exemplary young adults in STEM programs at top community colleges. The goal - positively brand STEM middle-skill jobs by marketing top Scholar profiles.
Siemens is working with NGA’s Center for Best Practices on a Scaling Work-based Learning project to expand the use of effective training models for young adults in STEM middle-skill jobs. The goal – work with states to scale effective work-based learning programs for young adults and employers and share best practices broadly.
Leveraging the American Apprenticeship Grants (AAG), a historic $175 million federal program to expand apprenticeships, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices provides tailored support and peer-learning open to grant winners to achieve and sustain success. The goal - scale participation in apprenticeships, expand the workforce development model to new industries and sectors, and share innovations from the grantees nationwide.
The Center on Education and Skills at New America (CESNA) is dedicated to broadening the array of high quality educational options for students of all ages, including through greater access to apprenticeship. While there has been renewed interest in apprenticeship recently, investments have focused on adult students and job seekers. But there are good reasons to believe that extending apprenticeship opportunities to younger Americans – those in their last two years of high school– would generate important benefits for students and society. In fact, youth apprenticeship is common in countries with the most successful apprenticeship systems and is often credited for the very low rates of youth unemployment or underemployment in those countries.
CESNA is partnering with the Siemens Foundation on a project to explore the opportunities and challenges for expanding youth apprenticeship in the United States with the goal of identifying strategies for overcoming common obstacles to building programs in high schools, particularly in middle-skill STEM fields. This year long research project will include case studies of successful programs as well as in-depth analysis of the cultural, political, and practical barriers – both real and perceived – to growing youth apprenticeship.
Siemens and Advance CTE are working on a project, Strategies for Attracting Students to High-Quality CTE, which supports states and local communities across the country in their efforts to attract and recruit students into high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study. This two-pronged approach will develop effective messaging to be used at the state and local level, as well as provide support to select states as they identify, pilot and evaluate strategies for recruiting students into high-quality CTE.
This project will leverage Advance CTE’s membership - state CTE directors and leaders from all 50 states - as well as CTE: Learning that works for America, a national campaign adopted by 49 states and over 700 communities, to ensure any resources and lessons learned are disseminated and implemented widely. The goal – provide effective recruitment strategies to increase participation in high-quality CTE.