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Strengthening STEM Mentorships with the US2020 City Competition

Jun 25, 2013

This month the Clinton Global Initiative hosted CGI America, an annual event that highlights ways to boost U.S. economic recovery, and much emphasis was on STEM education. Former President Bill Clinton announced the launch of the US2020 City Competition, in which cities and counties across the U.S. will answer the challenge to increase the number of local STEM professionals as mentors for students.

The US2020 City Competition will entail selecting three to five cities from the competitive field that propose plans to "mobilize STEM volunteers" through partnerships with technology and science businesses. The chosen cities will share $1 million or more in "in-kind" support to bring together a variety of institutions and encourage STEM education.

The initiative is part of a larger collaborative effort to move to action 1 million STEM professionals to mentor students in STEM by the year 2020. Several partners are on board, including the Hewlett-Packard Co., Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., SanDisk, Cisco, and Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., which will work to place STEM professionals across the country in mentoring opportunities via an online matching program.

The program will match mentors with nonprofits, in various school grades, settings, and delivery models. Organizations involved in STEM mentoring can learn about best practices from their peer organizations.

"We believe it is essential to offer engaging learning experiences with STEM professionals to students who need their support and the opportunity for cities to utilize their STEM workforce to educate and prepare the next generation of STEM professionals," according to Eric Schwarz, executive chairman of US2020.

CGI reports that by 2018, there will be 1.5 million more STEM job openings than qualified applications and that improving education and mentorships will help foster skill sets and interest at an early age.

US2020 is currently looking for additional corporate partners that have employees who are interested in participating in mentorships. For more information, click here.

Read a related STEM mentorship article: How Prize Competitions Can Re-engineer STEM's Image and Talent Pipeline