STEM Gateways Actby Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III
Posted on 2015-02-10
KENNEDY asked and was given permission to address the House for
1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. Speaker, our country's economic forecast continues
to improve, which is a good thing, but we do risk leaving far too many
people behind as we come out of a recession. That is an issue for us
STEM education--science, technology, engineering, and mathematics--is a critical vehicle in making sure that all Americans have access to the economic gains that will power our country for the next generation. Over the next 10 years, STEM jobs will grow at normally double the rate of non-STEM jobs, and at all levels of education, STEM careers earn about 11 percent higher wages compared to their counterparts in other jobs.
Mr. Speaker, this is an enormous opportunity, but, to date, our efforts around STEM education have left huge segments of our population behind. Combined, Hispanics and African Americans only occupy about 13 percent of all STEM jobs. While women make up nearly half of the workforce overall, only 26 percent of STEM jobs are held by women. In 2013, there were 11 States in which not a single African American student took a computer science advanced placement test, and there were eight States in which no Hispanic students did and three States in which no women did.
Mr. Speaker, this is a challenge for us all. With this in mind, I rise, along with Representative Tonko and Senator Gillibrand, to introduce the STEM Gateways Act, which will try to make sure that access to the jobs of tomorrow is spread to all Americans.