Arizona’s future success relies on our ability to prepare today’s students for the jobs of the future. The fastest growing occupations of the next decade will require some background in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In today’s job market, the number of unemployed exceeds the total number of job postings. However, in STEM occupations, the opposite is true.  Currently in Arizona, there are two STEM job openings for every unemployed person.1

Workers employed in STEM related fields earn, on average, 26% more than their non-STEM counterparts. 2 If Arizona is going to compete for the high wage jobs of the future, we must commit to ensuring our students are critical thinkers and problem-solvers.  That includes emphasizing STEM subjects, and training our students  in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The city of Flagstaff recently decided to literally put a stake in the ground as a leader in STEM education. Mayor Jerry Nabours issued a proclamation stating that Flagstaff is a STEM community by highlighting the great Science and Technology businesses and institutions and the excellent STEM activities in Flagstaff schools.  In addition, Flagstaff is recognizing a STEM Student, Teacher and Leader of the Year.  Moving forward, Flagstaff is initiating a STEM Consortium that will focus on STEM business-school connections and curriculum development.

Flagstaff has shown its dedication to advancing STEM in its community, with business, community, and elected leaders supporting the mission. Expect More Arizona President & CEO, Pearl Chang Esau commended Flagstaff for its effort. “Flagstaff is fortunate to have a committed group of leaders from education and business who have come together to ensure their students have the rich experiences with STEM education they need to succeed in college, career and in life,” said Esau.

We look forward to watching Flagstaff’s commitment to innovation grow. We hope this is an inspiration to Arizona and a challenge to other communities across our state to find new ways to prepare our students to be critical thinkers and innovative problem solvers who are prepared for the jobs we want in Arizona and who will strengthen Arizona’s global leadership and quality of life.

Read more October Newsletter Articles:
Partnership with All A’s Brings Teachers’ Voices to the Forefront
Arizona Showed Up 4 Education on 10/10!
Strategic Investment: Investing in Education to Improve Student Achievement
Understanding the New School Letter Grades

1 Change the Equation.
2 STEM: Good Jobs Now and For the Future