On National STEM Day, MACo's Bronze Corporate Partner
announced they have invested $1.9M and reached nearly 40,000 students in STEM education initiatives since 2018.
Unfortunately, coding classes aren’t offered in 90% of U.S. high schools. Furthermore, in 33 of the 50 states in the U.S., computer science classes aren’t counted as high school math or science graduation requirements.
This gap presents an opportunity. By addressing the lack of computer science education for students in underserved communities, access to new employment opportunities can be created. At the same time, businesses can foster the talent they need to fill these emerging positions. Still, how exactly do we help connect students to skills, confidence and leadership building?
Bridging the gap
To address this, Panasonic is working with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation in the process to help America fulfill its workforce needs going forward. One initiative includes the launch of a coding institute in Newark, home of Panasonic’s North America headquarters. Subsequent institutes Reno, NV, Atlanta, GA and Calexico, CA are also planned. These institutes will operate as an extension of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s successful Coding as a Second Language program.
The Coding as a Second Language program is a national initiative to introduce and teach Latino youth computer programming. The program makes pathways in tech accessible to underrepresented minorities and transform communities by providing access to technology where there is otherwise little available. What started in Los Angeles as a pilot program has now grown to 50 different markets.
These programs include six weeks of instruction. Along with a mentoring component, there are follow-ups that offer additional support. These connections can lead to industry apprenticeships and full-time opportunities.