By Susan Mullaney, president of Kaiser Permanente Washington and Washington STEM board member
Our communities depend on STEM-related fields. Ensuring a consistent pipeline of students interested in pursuing STEM jobs is critical. We believe that early exposure to STEM is impactful for school-aged children. At a time when our state needs more than 94,000 health care professionals over the next three years, we need more students to pursue health care related careers. We need a sustainable plan to inspire and excite young people. And, we must ensure an equitable pathway into these high-demand, high-impact jobs.
Currently, thousands of Washington students are on track to graduate high school unprepared for these jobs and are often unaware STEM jobs even exist. In the next five years, an estimated 225,465 jobs that earn a family-sustaining wage will require credentials that many of our Washingtonian students are not on track to earn...
Nothing is more meaningful than careers born of out of a youthful spark of inspiration. When we engage more students from our diverse communities and share the deep impact of science and medical jobs, we support their future and ensure sustainability within the communities we serve.