Tackling the STEM gap through STEMconnector’s Innovation Labs

The Challenge

In the United States, 20% of jobs require significant STEM knowledge and skills. The U.S. is ranked 28th in math literacy and 24th in science literacy. The proportion of underrepresented minorities in science and engineering needs to triple to match representation in the U.S overall. In coming years, the demand for scientists and engineers is expected to increase four times the rate as other occupations. Most organizations who try to tackle the STEM gap independently found it difficult to deliver broad impact across a large population.

The Approach

STEMconnector is a professional services firm committed to increasing the number of STEM-ready workers in the global talent pool. They provide a platform to engage leaders in both public and private sectors who collectively are re-envisioning the workforce. STEMconnector works with pioneering leaders across over 200 organizations with an overall goal to inform, stimulate, and connect leaders with a passion for and vested interest in growing a STEM-ready workforce. By combining resources, ideas and energy across private and public sectors, members have realized they can collectively drive much more sustainable change and improve their talent pipelines than when they try to tackle it alone.

STEMconnector provides Innovation Labs that explore challenges and solutions at different stages of the STEM talent pipeline, including the K-12, postsecondary, and STEM workplace years. Their Innovation Labs are intimate, members-only, structured working sessions of 25-30 thought leaders who explore STEM talent challenges and solutions. The labs help inform STEMconnector research released about the topic following the lab.

The Labs explore specific components of the STEM talent gaps and, through facilitated roundtable discussions, surface possible solutions. Additionally, they provide opportunities for members/leaders from across sectors and geographies to connect and share perspectives in focused, relevant, and structured meetings informed by STEMconnector’s proprietary research and data. Members contribute ideas to create strategies and actionable resources to be shared across the STEMconnector network and the broader STEM community.