By Justin Driscoll, Director, STEM Talent Acquisition
Day two of the STEM Solutions Conference in Austin is wrapping up. After attending many different sessions where I was able to listen to employers and education excerpts talk about STEM education and the need for STEM workers I thought I would put together a running list of ideas discussed and suggestions made.
- Employers are the biggest consumers of STEM workers, they need to be involved in their local school district, Career and Technical Center, Community College, and four-year institution
- If employers want to have a pipeline of workers entering their company they need to be continually working with their local education institutions to be a true partner and not just a consumer of talent. If you don’t engage you will be reactionary in your talent acquisition methods.
- Smaller companies really need to engage with local education institutions because these schools do not even know you exist. The schools typically only know and think about large employers because their names are on the buildings and they are always in the news. If your company isn’t making headlines the schools won’t think about you if you don’t engage. How can you start today?
- Community Colleges are very important in the talent pipeline. It is true that the culture still values a four year degree or master’s degree more than an associate’s degree from the community college. However, that mindset needs to change. If your company is having a tough time finding talent consider reaching out to your local community college.
- Make sure your employees are engaged with local districts through career days, mentorship opportunities, classroom speakers, guest teachers, etc…
- Host schools at your office for company tours and info sessions
The bottom line is that if your company wants to ensure a consistent flow of talent at your company you need to be very engaged with local schools and colleges so you are part of the conversation and top of mind with teachers and administrators.