Boeing recognizes future STEM workforce

The Boeing Company presented its inaugural STEM Signing Day earlier this week to recognize high school seniors who want to pursue a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

“STEM Signing Day is similar to signing day for athletes. But this particular event is where we would like to celebrate high school seniors across the state as they’re making commitments to go on to a career in STEM,” said Leann Shaffer, community investor on the global engagement team at Boeing.

At STEM Signing Day, Arizona high school seniors approaching graduation who have stated they want to pursue a postsecondary education and career in STEM were recognized and celebrated.

It is well known the demand for a skilled STEM workforce is growing. STEM jobs are projected to grow 13 percent in the U.S. from 2017 to 2027, according to Economic Modeling Specialists International.

“STEM is obviously an area where there’s a lot of need when we look at the future workforce, especially from a Boeing perspective. We need students that are choosing their careers where they’re building their skills to think critically, analytically,” Shaffer said.

“This is an exciting time for us to really just acknowledge these students and to bring awareness to their decision to participate in a STEM career,” Shaffer said.

Boeing works to show its support for the future STEM workforce, which aligns with the city of Mesa’s support of education and postsecondary attainment.

Mesa, home to one of Boeing’s facilities, is one of the many supporters of the education nonprofit Achieve60AZ’s goal to see 60 percent of Arizonans aged 25 to 64 with a postsecondary credential or degree by 2030.

“That is why when I heard about this idea, I thought ‘That is the best idea I’ve heard in a long, long time.’ So, I couldn’t be more excited to be here and to give all of the encouragement from the city that we possibly can to really see this idea really take off,” John Giles, Mayor of Mesa, told attendees.

While Boeing has efforts in place to encourage the state’s future STEM workforce and impact growth, it currently has a major impact on Arizona’s economy.

Founder and president of Arizona Strategies and Arizona Board of Regents member Karrin Taylor Robson told attendees, “I’d like to recognize Boeing for bringing us together today to recognize these outstanding students and their commitment to STEM degrees. Boeing is a significant contributor to the state’s economy bringing in $1.2 billion in supplier spending alone.”

STEM Signing Day presented by Boeing was held at the Mesa Arts Center and recognized about 30 participating students.

Sierra Ciaramella

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