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04/01/2019

Wolf Administration Highlights STEM Education Investments During Women in Science and Engineering Panel in Lehigh Valley

Center Valley, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani today joined female leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at the 2019 Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Forum at DeSales University. Cipriani highlighted the Wolf Administration's ongoing commitment to helping Pennsylvanians become better prepared for in-demand STEM careers.

"Events such as this forum, that discuss the importance of involving women and girls in STEM careers from early childhood to college, are vital in helping us to educate the next generation of STEM professionals for 21st century jobs," said Cipriani. "Governor Wolf understands that a diverse, well-educated and highly-trained workforce is vital for Pennsylvania's economic future, which is why investments in education and job training are a top priority of his administration." 

Cipriani highlighted Governor Wolf's proposed Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP), to provide opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement, during a panel discussion at the WISE Forum, hosted by the Da Vinci Science Center, in partnership with Sanofi Pasteur.

SWEAP is included in Governor Wolf's budget proposal and expands access to early childhood education, increases investments in schools and educators, and partners with the private sector to build on the PAsmart initiative. PAsmart funding announced earlier this year expands classroom instruction and professional development in fast-growing STEM and computer science fields, and increases training for emerging careers and industries of the 21st century. Targeted funding is also providing computer science classes and training for underserved populations, including minorities and women, to learn critical skills needed to succeed in today's workforce.

The Women in Science and Engineering Forum highlighted the different perspectives women bring to these industries, the challenges women face when pursuing a career in male-dominated fields, as well as the future of STEM jobs in the commonwealth.

"In Pennsylvania, the demand for STEM jobs is growing three times as fast as non-STEM jobs. Baby boomers are retiring, and employers report that they cannot find qualified individuals to fill STEM positions," said Lin Erickson, Da Vinci Science Center executive director and CEO. "Our WISE Initiative helps to meet the demand in these expanding fields by supporting current female STEM professionals and working to inspire young women to follow in their footsteps."

For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Lindsay Bracale or Penny Ickes, 717-787-7530 or dlipress@pa.gov

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