On April 4–6, the Workforce of Tomorrow conference hosted by U.S. News STEM Solutions in Washington, D.C. examined the complexities of developing a workforce skilled in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), inviting leaders to bring key insights, innovative strategies and industry best practices to develop solutions for advancing this effort.
Employment in San Diego’s priority sectors—life sciences, technology, clean energy, health care and advanced manufacturing—require a strong foundation in STEM. The San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) was invited to share how SDWP has created programs to develop pipelines to obtain the education and work experience necessary to enter and succeed in these growing sectors. The all-star SDWP panel included:
- SDWP CEO Peter Callstrom
- Life Sciences Summer Institute Program Coordinator Penelope Oseguera
- CONNECT2Careers (C2C) STEAM program specialist Andrea Villanueva
- Manager of Business Programs Angel Stancer
The session featured TechHire, Life Sciences Summer Institute and Amgen Foundation programs, highlighting best practices for engagement and collaboration. This STEAM-related programming targets both students/young adults and education professionals. Services include job development, placement support and business outreach, while education professional programming focuses on professional development for teachers and curriculum modification based in high-demand workplace skills.
“I loved the opportunity to present the amazing work we’re doing in San Diego on a national level,” says Oseguera. “It was especially gratifying to have so many questions to answer during our session—it showed that attendees were interested and that we had something valuable to offer them.”
One key component of the presentation was sharing how SDWP plans to spread this programming further in the region. For instance, SDWP provides services throughout both San Diego and Riverside County through the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) for teachers. ABE allows SDWP to reach an exponential amount of students because each teacher who is trained with the curriculum is assisted with implementing the ABE lab curriculum in their classrooms. In addition, SDWP works closely with Imperial County through funding called the Regional Planning Implementation Grant—mainly focused on the healthcare sector. One aspect of this partnership is offering stackable credentials through LinkedIn Learning for both San Diego and Imperial County.
The knowledge share was definitely reciprocal as the team enjoyed the entire conference sharing ideas and making connections to better regional initiatives. “The connections we made at this event are already paying off for our participants!” shares Stancer. “We discovered resources that will provide free training and certifications for our clients and are excitedly moving this forward.”