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Creating Relevant Career Opportunities by Engaging Businesses

Creating Relevant Career Opportunities by Engaging Businesses. Disconnected Youth Summit, Phoenix, Arizona October 15, 2014. Caroline VanIngen-Dunn Manager, STEM Pathways. Why Engage Businesses?. Industry engagement is vital to: Keeping schools current,

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Creating Relevant Career Opportunities by Engaging Businesses

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  1. Creating Relevant Career Opportunities by Engaging Businesses • Disconnected Youth Summit, Phoenix, Arizona • October 15, 2014 Caroline VanIngen-Dunn Manager, STEM Pathways

  2. Why Engage Businesses? • Industry engagement is vital to: • Keeping schools current, • Providing teachers with resources, and • Capturing student interest in STEM careers. • Our objective today: • Describe Best Practices that help capture interest of Disconnected Youth in STEM majors, degrees and careers through programs that include industry engagement

  3. Science Foundation Arizona A public/private non-profit organization founded in 2006 with support from Arizona’s CEO groups, Governor’s Office and the Legislature. Purpose: Diversify and strengthen Arizona’s economy by: • Investing in scientific and engineering areas of greatest economic importance to Arizona • Facilitating strategic collaborations between Arizona research institutions and industry • Supporting effective education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) • Attracting and retaining world-class jobs and talent Approach: • Identify, fund and support Best Practices • Connect researchers, businesses and educators • Build and promote the Arizona STEM Network

  4. Arizona STEM Network A collaboration of businesses, educators, government and philanthropy with a common agenda to graduate more Arizona students prepared for the global economy through STEM education.

  5. AZ STEM Network Online Community • Brings all SFAz’s STEM content and connections together • Connects education and industry • Businesses can offer STEM opportunities to local schools • Education service providers can expand their reach • Provides online STEM resources and tools • Hundreds of vetted resources, STEM teaching strategies • Educators can collaborate & share in niche, topic-focused groups • Encourages collaboration and sharing among educators • Engages users in all-inclusive, low-maintenance online environment

  6. http://stem.sfaz.org

  7. STEM Pathways Expanding the notion that the only pathway to success is through a four year university Offers multiple opportunities to explore, prepare for and pursue STEM degrees and careers. Programs led by community colleges who function as conduits to their community: non-profit organizations, high schools, universities and jobs. Programs include 1) outreach, 2) technology-driven academic curriculum leading to industry-recognized credentials, 3) and early college options leading to transferable credits toward these certifications and degrees.

  8. STEM Pathways All successful programs benefit from industry engagement • Keeping the programs current, • Offering students real world experiences through outreach programs and internships, • Giving hiring preferences to students with industry-recognized credentials. • Online Pathways Resource Guide will show how

  9. STEM Business Advocates • Who are they? • Individuals, businesses and industry organizations that bring a visible connection to real-world learning opportunities and career exploration for students, teachers, administrators and parents. • They instill a positive attitude and confidence in math and science skills, evoke an awareness and interest in STEM careers, increase job understanding. • How does the program work? • Connects Advocate to people or proven programs that need your expertise. • Gives Advocate access to an online partner database to share experiences and learn from others.

  10. Sign me up - What can I do?

  11. STEM Business Advocates • How to implement it successfully - • Requires an individual who can serve as the point person for industry and students • Successful outcomes - • Students understand the applications of math and science, learn valuable workplace skills and gain insight into new career opportunities • Teachers advance their knowledge of STEM content and its career applications • Businesses contribute directly to advancing the workforce in Arizona by helping to build a talent pipeline.

  12. Best Practices • Group Tours and Field Trips • Career Exploration and Activities • Industry Speakers • Internships

  13. Group Tours and Field Trips What is it? Group Tours or Field trips to college or university campuses and onsite to companies giving youth a visual understanding of what exists “inside the building.” Why is it important? • Influences how youth see themselves • Helps youth visualize attending these academic institutions or working at these companies • Inspires youth to set goals • Impacts their vision for their futures • Provides visibility to new career pathways.

  14. Group Tours and Field Trips How does it work? • University and College campus tours: • Institutions offer transportation to bring area youth to their campuses • College Advisors and Recruiters sponsor and plan activities • Fun and exciting hands-on activities encourage students to plan their future career choices, including attending the college • Students voluntarily sign-up for the event • Institutions provide food as an incentive to participate • Company tours: • Manufacturing companies offer tours during October Manufacturing Month http://www.manufacturingrevolution.com/ • Other companies offer tours through the SciTech Festival predominantly during February – April http://azscitech.com/events/?filter_type%5B%5D=tour • Arizona SciTech hosts a calendar of events and tours that youth and groups can subscribe to: http://azscitech.com/events/?filter_type%5B%5D=tour

  15. Group Tours and Field Trips What are the desired outcomes? • Broadens the Horizons: Creating as many opportunities for youth to SEE inspires and supports their ambition to set and pursue their goals. • Successful transitions for youth: Data collected at Cochise College has shown that students who transfer to ASU through the METS program graduate at a rate of 100% in Engineering!

  16. Best Practices • Group Tours and Field Trips • Career Exploration and Activities • Industry Speakers • Internships

  17. Career Exploration and Activities What is it? • Community colleges and universities conduct outreach events to attract prospective students to their institutions. • Events are location-specific and often include hands-on activities and interaction with experts from local industries. • Events are community based and open to the public. • Events offer an excellent opportunity for youth to participate. • Why is it important? • Brings the community together; helps raise awareness of what career opportunities are available. • Leverages the institution’s resources to provide participants with information about certifications and degrees that are offered. • Youth discover their passions and strengths through hands-on activities • Youth understand that participating in these events is part of an ongoing learning process.

  18. Career Exploration and Activities How does it work? Examples: • Math/Science Day for K-12 youth on the college campus - 25 hands-on workshops and 30 demonstrations in a one-day event • STEM Career Exploration – hands-on workshops that are delivered by college instructors or industry professionals. The culminating experience is an industry tour. • Summer STEM Camps – A variety of week-long summer camps, delivered by faculty and industry experts, and offered on the college campus during the summer, give youth experiences in Phun Physics, Robotics, Video Game Design, Sci-Art, Rocketry, Technology, Cyber Security, for example. • Engineering Night – company employees, faculty, students, and professional organizations come together for a night of information and a “look” at various engineering activities and programs • Professional organizations – many have student clubs, industry sponsorship and industry funding for scholarships.

  19. Career Exploration and Activities What are the desired outcomes? • Students involved in high-intensity activities stay engaged, challenged, and motivated. They learn by doing, and gain valuable experiences for their resumes • Students develop professional skills including public speaking, planning, and networking • Students who participate become more connected to the college • Companies and organizations that engage with student activities and support are more likely to hire locally than bringing in outside talent. The businesses are vested in the new talent.

  20. Best Practices • Group Tours and Field Trips • Career Exploration and Activities • Industry Speakers • Internships

  21. Industry Speakers What is it? Subject matter experts from industry are invited share their experiences and provide students with a broader knowledge of what educational and job opportunities are available. Why is it important? • It is good practice to bring in working engineers and other skilled employees for students to understand what they are doing and how they achieved their success and for them to understand students’ interests and needs • Companies can see what the future employee capabilities are and encourage students into their employment fields of opportunities • Students are better informed and more determined to define and pursue a career • A change in routine is good for students

  22. Industry Speakers How does it work? • Identify a coordinator to seek out speakers and link the group’s expectations with the industry/speaker’s expectations – Join the Network! • Invited guest speakers typically speak/share their job experiences and what led them to their job to a group of students for about 20-30 minutes, and allow an additional 20 min for questions and answers. • It is beneficial to tie the speakers’ expertise with the topic currently being discussed by the group. • It is easier to get speakers if they live or work nearby. • Speakers from colleges and universities are also STEM advocates and can provide transfer information, scholarship opportunities and an overview of the opportunities available to students. • Important to respond to the event with additional information pertaining to internshipsjobsoft skills, resumes, and interviewing protocol.

  23. Industry Speakers What are the desired outcomes? • More informed students • Better prepared students for the workforce • Encourages students to understand opportunities and job skills needed to equip themselves for successful employment • Connects universities and company representatives with students and provides an initial look at the students’ career interests and educational needs

  24. Best Practices • Group Tours and Field Trips • Career Exploration and Activities • Industry Speakers • Internships

  25. Internships What is it? • A job at a local company for Students who benefit from an ongoing “tour” of the company, “career advice” through work-related experiences, and “mentoring” from an assigned sponsor. • Students gain a better understanding of the work environment while companies benefit from the student’s developing knowledge and skills. Why is it important? Everyone benefits: • The Institution benefits from feedback that the company provides about its students • Companies benefit from quality work at an entry-level wage. • Students benefit from first-hand experience at a job and gain a better idea of where they would like to pursue a career. • Internships can also provide an entry point for disconnected youth who would like to re-enter the workforce but may lack the skills to enter the career they desire.

  26. Internships How does it work? • An Industry Coordinator dedicated to serving as the connector is KEY • Develop and maintain relationships with employers; respond to their workforce needs; address inevitable changes in employee status • Recruit and screen college students as intern candidates • Prepare students to interview well and set expectations for on-the-job behavior • Visit industry representatives to promote the success of the interns • Place students in appropriate intern positions for student and industry partner success • Contact industry partners and student interns frequently to ensure program success

  27. Internships How does it work/contd.? • Student interns are paid 320 hours of work per summer or semester. • Students are assigned a supervisor/sponsor within the company who make sure they are doing real work and getting good exposure to the industry. • Limiting internships to 29 hours per week is better for students who are also taking classes. • Persistence is key to understanding industry needs and providing them with valuable interns. • Perceived barriers to a program can be minimized through collaboration, for example, requiring security clearances was perceived to preclude companies from hiring interns.

  28. Internships What are the desired outcomes? Data collected at Cochise College indicated that: • 10 students interned at a single defense contractor when the program started in 2012. • 4 new industry partners hired 27 interns in 2013. • Over half these interns have subsequently been hired for regular positions.

  29. Conclusion • Industry engagement is vital to capturing youth’s interest in STEM careers. • Four Best Practices were described: • Group Tours and Field Trips • Career Exploration and Activities • Industry Speakers • Internships

  30. Conclusion • Join the STEM Network at stem.sfaz.org • Submit your requests for industry engagement. • Submit your requests to engage with education.

  31. Contact Information • Caroline VanIngen-Dunn • cvaningen-dunn@sfaz.org • 602-682-2882

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