Beyond Charity: Building Tomorrow’s Workforce

Friday, January 12, 2018 10:17 am EST


Tim Holt, CEO, Siemens Power Generation Services

Siemens USA’s Business to Society report shows Siemens tackling America’s biggest challenges to drive its business strategy and make a positive impact on its communities across the country. The company is supporting U.S. R&D, reducing carbon emissions, driving breakthrough medical innovations, helping to close the skills gap, and advancing America’s security, infrastructure and economy.  

Just as impactful, the collective difference made by Siemens USA’s 50,000 employees extends outside of our offices, labs and manufacturing plants. Members of our team also volunteer countless hours in the communities where they work and live, often supporting organizations with missions that align with the company’s Business to Society vision. The post below – featuring Siemens’ partnership with Orlando After-School All-Stars – is a powerful example.

Siemens employees will soon start volunteering at eight local middle schools with Orlando After-School All-Stars and the Orlando Science Center. They’ll spend a few hours each month helping some of our community’s most vulnerable and underserved young people develop a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics – or STEM.

On the surface, this might sound like corporate philanthropy – and it is. Our partnerships to support STEM education reflect our long-standing commitment to engage our local charitable organizations and to support Mayor Buddy Dyer’s efforts to create a city for everyone.

But the truth is, for companies like Siemens, getting young people interested in STEM is a business need as much as it is a social one. STEM is the language of the new digital economy. The majority of our open positions at Siemens require STEM backgrounds; we do not anticipate this trend slowing down any time soon. Thus, when we invest in STEM education and training, we are investing in our future. We are building the next-generation workforce from the ground up here in the community we call home. 

Siemens initially partnered with Summer of Dreams and Orlando After-School All-Stars to provide summer camp for homeless children in Central Florida. As part of the initiative, we supported the Orlando Science Center in offering STEM-related curriculum during the summer camp experience.

Since 2012 we have provided the program with $50,000 in annual funding, and the results are impressive. Over the last six years, more than 2,600 students have taken part in the program. More than 80 percent of those students increased both their math and science grades by at least one level. Additionally, 50 teachers have now earned specialized certification in STEM education. 

Beyond better grades, the program has sparked excitement among students for STEM and technology-related education. The “STEM Club” at Carver Middle School placed second in a national robotics competition that won students the right to remotely operate a robot on the international space station. The team was the only public school in America to receive an award in the competition and had the highest minority and female participation of any team.

Now we’re expanding our efforts together. Siemens’ $20,000 donation to the Orlando Science Center will enable After-School All-Stars to partner with the institution to launch “Destination: STEM,” an initiative that will allow area middle school students to participate in five hands-on workshops aimed at connecting STEM disciplines with specific career pathways. The workshops are focused on topics such as photonics and optics, aerospace, engineering, modeling and simulation, and robotics.

Building the future workforce that will allow Orlando to be competitive with the great cities of the world starts with getting young people motivated, excited and inspired about STEM-related skills. It starts by having adults who love what they do share their passion for technology and innovation with students from diverse backgrounds. And it starts by giving young people a skillset that will serve them for the rest of their lives, no matter where they go or what they choose to do.


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