The High Tech Brain Gain And STEM

STEM High Tech Brain Gain
A local government focuses on STEM educational programs to retain its most valuable asset —intellectual capital

 

Westchester County, New York’s emphasis on Science, Technology Education, Engineering and Math or STEM education is creating future generations of well-educated people who are likely to return to the region to further bolster its standing as a high-tech hub. Notably, it’s focusing on its growing Hispanic population to achieve this goal.

There may be a brain drain in the U.S. as a whole, but not in Westchester County, New York, which has rightly been billed as “New York’s Intellectual Capital,” or the place “Where smart people put their ideas to work.”

And the numbers bear that out. According to a county fact sheet, “Westchester is home to around 900 technology-related firms, employing more than 14,000 professionals;” “Westchester County is home to 17 biotechnology firms;” “20% of New York State’s biotechnology workforce—around 8,000 employees—is employed by Westchester firms;” and “More than 10.0% of the nation’s patents originate from companies based in Westchester County.”

This is hardly surprising, given the county’s emphasis on not only attracting high-tech company’s to the region, but perhaps more importantly, the importance of local education. In fact, Westchester’s high school graduation rate is 91 percent, and 94 percent of those graduates go on to post-secondary education.

“Once our students graduate from our public school system, they’re going to have an opportunity to attend colleges and become well educated and ready for future opportunities for higher and better-paying employment,” Eileen Mildenberger, who is Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s director of Economic Development.

A large part of this has to do with the area’s adoption of Science, Technology Education, Engineering and Math (STEM) educational programs, including Engineering for Kid, which is geared toward children aged 4 to 14.

Focused on, as its name implies, engineering, disciplines include:

 

  • Aerospace
  • Environmental
  • Industrial and civil
  • Chemical
  • Electrical
  • Lego robotics
  • Marine
  • Mechanical
  • Electronic game design

 

 

 

 

 

 

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