Adding diversity to the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields by bolstering educational opportunities for local underserved youth will be the focus of a major summit coming to Richmond Memorial Auditorium next month.
Educators, elected officials, businesses and community organizations from throughout Northern California will come together on April 30 to identify ways that West County youth can be connected to education and career opportunities involving STEM subjects, which are the keys to future jobs.
The 6th Annual Northern California Summit on Children and Youth, put on by Richmond Community Foundation (RCF) and members of the 2015 Summit Steering Committee, will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The summit’s theme this year is “Bridging the STEM Diversity Gap – Building the Next Generation Workforce.” It will include speakers, presentations and panels of experts exploring innovative, research-driven STEM programs and career pathways. The goal is to inspire local businesses, caregivers and community organizations to get involved in connecting youth to STEM opportunities.
RCF pointed to recent data from the largest technology companies showing blacks, Latinos and women make up a disproportionately small percentage of the workforce.
“This issue is so important because of its relationship to earning potential and relevance to closing the income gap,” said Lena Robinson, regional manager at RCF. “Jobs in the STEM sector are among the highest paid but require specialized education that many black and Latino students are not pursuing. We want to raise awareness in these communities about the many different career options that open up to individuals who study science, technology, engineering and math. These disciplines provide the basic foundation for careers in biotech, healthcare, information technology, and numerous engineering fields.”