Press Release: Washington STEM Teams with Bank of America to Strengthen STEM Career Pathways
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 7, 2021
SPOKANE, Wash. – Statewide nonprofit, Washington STEM, announced today that it has received a grant from Bank of America to increase access to STEM skills and pathways to postsecondary credentials for students in the Spokane region and across Washington state.
Washington’s students need access to STEM learning and postsecondary credentials to ensure they have the skills they need to succeed in high-demand careers and thrive in Washington’s economy. Bank of America made a $100,000 grant to help deepen efforts underway in the Spokane region, and around the state, to ensure all students have access to these skills—with a focus on rural students, students of color, girls and young women, and students from low-income communities— those historically underserved and underrepresented in the state’s growing STEM fields.
The data show that a strong cradle-to-career STEM education prepares students for high-demand, better-paying jobs. Washington state ranks among the top states in the nation in the concentration of STEM jobs with opportunities increasing rapidly. By 2030, more than 70% of these well-paying jobs will require education beyond high school in the form of a 2- or 4-year degree or certificate and 68% will require STEM credentials or literacy. Support from Bank of America helps deepen Washington STEM’s efforts, and work with local partners like Spokane STEM, to ensure there is equitable access to these skills and pathways.
“Washington STEM’s commitment to advancing excellence, innovation and equity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for Washington students is critical for our students in Spokane and around the state,” said Kurt Walsdorf, President, Bank of America Spokane. “A career in STEM begins with access and a clear pathway to success, especially in our under-resourced communities. Bank of America’s grant is one way we are working with area nonprofits to create more inclusivity and greater economic mobility.”
Students on a strong career pathway leads to family-wage careers that help create economic stability and an opportunity to fully participate in our shared community. Bank of America’s partnership with Washington STEM will help strengthen the bridge that helps put students on the pathway to a postsecondary credential and a future that is self-determining and rich with opportunity. For many years, Bank of America has worked with nonprofit organizations, and other leaders across public and private sectors, in Spokane to help drive economic mobility and this influx of funding will help more students access the skills and postsecondary degrees that will help achieve that.
“Bank of America is recognized for making strategic investments in talent development to help businesses thrive while building economic mobility for all students. Washington STEM is excited to partner with BofA to impact opportunities for Washington students— especially students of color, low-income students, rural communities and women and girls across the state,” said Dr. Christine Johnson, Chancellor, Community Colleges of Spokane and Washington STEM board member.
Washington STEM works with business, education, and community leaders through ten regional STEM Networks across the state that collectively impact more than one million students from preschool through postsecondary education. Support from Bank of America allows Washington STEM to sustain and expand efforts to focus on scalable solutions that create maximum impact for Washington’s students.
“Partnerships with employers are essential for exposing young people to the variety of education and training pathways, industries and jobs in their communities and throughout the world. Bank of America’s investment helps ensure access and supports for underrepresented students to pursue pathways to family-wage jobs and long-term economic security,” said Alisha Benson, CEO, Greater Spokane Incorporated.
About Washington STEM
Washington STEM is a statewide, education nonprofit leveraging STEM for social change, removing barriers to credential attainment, and creating pathways to long-term economic security for historically excluded students. In our state STEM is at the forefront of discovery, on the frontlines of creative 21st century problem-solving, and serves as one of the largest pathways to family-wage careers and long-term economic security. STEM pathways have promise like few others in Washington and it is imperative that Black, Brown, and Indigenous students, rural students, students growing up in poverty, and girls have access. Washington STEM is working to ensure that all students have equal opportunity to benefit from the transformational possibilities that STEM has to offer. For more information, go to www.washingtonstem.org. You can connect with us on Twitter (@washingtonstem) and via Facebook and LinkedIn.
About Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News). For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom. Click here to register for news email alerts. www.bankofamerica.com