• Rachel Lipson

Meeting Regional STEMM Workforce Needs in the Wake of COVID-19

Project on Workforce Director Rachel Lipson served on a national committee for the National Academies of Sciences on the effect of COVID-19 on the STEMM workforce. Professors Peter Blair and Bob Schwartz were consulted as national experts.

The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the global economy and significantly shifting workforce demand. What is unclear is how STEMM workforce demands have changed and if there is an opportunity to upskill, retrain, and certify a significant portion of displaced workers to meet new and shifting labor demands. This project identified five regions across the US (Birmingham, AL; Boston, MA; Richmond, VA; Riverside, CA, and Wichita, KS) to host workshops highlighting promising practices that communities can utilize to respond urgently and appropriately to their STEMM workforce needs.

  • How have the current and near term regional STEMM labor market needs changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the needs for the skilled technical workforce (e.g., in IT and computing fields, health tech sectors, manufacturing)?

  • To what extent can a regional profile be created that links STEMM educational and training resources with COVID-19 impacted workforce needs, including retraining of professionals?

  • What practices and policies can local higher education institutions and workforce training organizations adopt to respond to local industry STEMM workforce needs, both individually and as part of regional coalitions? Which effective practices and policies are replicable and scalable? What barriers, if any, exist that inhibit these programs from meeting COVID-19 shifts in regional STEMM workforce needs?

  • What actions are needed to assist local higher education institutions, training organizations, industry, and policy makers at the local, state, and federal levels in fostering improved linkages between education and training resources and STEMM workforce needs at the regional level as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Click here to learn about the Committee's work

Watch the Boston workshop presentations

Watch the national summary workshop






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