The STEM Careers Coalition is a coalition of industry leaders that have joined forces to impact the culture of STEM education in K – 12 schools nationwide. Over the next five years, the Coalition aims to prepare a generation for the future of work. The American Petroleum Institute is one of the anchor partners fueling this initiative.
API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 47 million Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In its first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.
The Importance of Improving Access to STEM Education for All Students
By Rebecca Winkel, Economic Advisor, API
In my work directing workforce and education research and programs at the American Petroleum Institute (API), I support the natural gas and oil industry’s efforts to create good, family-supporting, career opportunities that provide meaningful work to everyone from chemists to construction workers. Through my work, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to speak with business leaders and educators across the country about what is needed for success in our industry, and again and again, two common themes have emerged: these careers require foundational skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) across all education levels, and the basic knowledge that these career opportunities exist.
We’ve seen how these pieces are especially critical for groups such as women and students of color and others with limited access. For example, research we did seeking to understand women’s perceptions of the natural gas and oil industry found an astonishingly low number of women—only 3%—had ever applied to work in this industry, and the driving reason was a lack of awareness about what the industry does and related job opportunities. We also recognize that in the spectrum.
To be successful, everyone needs to have access to the educational opportunities that develop both the skillset and the awareness of the great careers offered in the natural gas and oil industry.
Enter the STEM Careers Coalition, which was developed to bridge STEM industries and K-12 classrooms at an unprecedented scale. A first-of-its-kind endeavor, the coalition connects partners representing natural gas and oil, manufacturing, aerospace, commercial and technology industries with Discovery Education in a unique initiative to prepare the next generation for the future of work by empowering them with STEM skills and career awareness. A key focus of this effort is to address the lack of diversity and unequal access to opportunity in the STEM workforce pipeline by providing real resources to under-resourced schools and through working to highlight career opportunities for students, parents and communities—especially the most vulnerable.
Learn more about the STEM Careers Coalition at www.stemcareerscoalition.org.