Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced the formation of the West Virginia Council on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and addressed the Council at its inaugural meeting. The STEM Council was formed through Executive Order No. 3-14.
"It is critical for us to prepare our students, today, for the jobs of tomorrow by increasing interest in science, technology, engineering and math," Gov. Tomblin said. "Throughout the next five years, economic development opportunities in our state will require a strategic expansion of STEM workforce availability."
During today's meeting, the STEM Council discussed key goals and strategies, outlined roles and responsibilities, and formed a timeline for the implementation of strategies.
The STEM Council is chaired by the Governor or his designee and is comprised of at least 12 members to act as a steering committee, including the following:
* The Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission or designee
* The Chancellor of the Community and Technical College System or designee
* A member of the West Virginia Board of Education
* The State Superintendent of Schools or designee
* The Secretary of the Department of Commerce or designee
* One representative from the oil and gas industry
* One representative with expertise in utilizing derivatives extracted from wet natural gas in the petrochemical industry
* A representative from the technology industry
* A representative from the manufacturing industry
* A representative from the logistics industry
* A representative from the aerospace industry
* A representative from the chemical industry
The Council will collaborate to enhance STEM education and experiences for West Virginia students. This includes designing education and training programs to fit the needs of West Virginia's workforce, revitalizing students' interest in STEM professions, and increasing the number of graduates in these fields over the next 10 years.
The Council will engage the public, education organizations, business and industry to find innovative methods of preparing our students to fill the impending workforce needs of the state. In order to achieve these goals, the Governor has asked the Education Alliance, a leader in building collaborative relationships between businesses, communities, and public schools, to work closely with him on this essential initiative.