BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - America is facing a workforce skills gap crisis.
The US Department of Commerce estimates that jobs in science, technology, engineering and math will grow by 17 percent by 2018, nearly doubled the growth for non-STEM fields. It is estimated by 2018, the U.S. will have more than 1.2 million unfilled jobs because there will not be enough qualified workers to fill them.
Proponents say solving the workforce skills gap will take a commitment from the public and private sectors.
Chevron celebrates National Engineers Week by giving back to two local school districts.
Through a partnership with the Bakersfield City and Rosedale Union School Districts, Chevron donated over $260,000 to help advance science, technology, engineering and math education.
Organizers say STEM education plays a significant role in preparing communities for future success.
The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology reported that the U.S. could lose its historical preeminence in science and technology.
To meet this goal, United States will need to increase the number of students who received under undergraduate degrees by about 34 % annually over current rates.
There is also a growing need for women and minorities to focus on STEM education and careers.
Organizer say women constitute 48 percent of the US workforce, but hold just 24 of the jobs in STEM. Only 1 in 10 professionals are women.
Project Lead The Way is the nation's leading provider of STEM programs. The aim is to prepare and motivate students to enter careers in science and engineering.
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