By Phil Preston
In an increasingly technical world, there is a shortage of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills in the workforce. I asked Time Warner Cable’s VP of Community Investment, Milinda Martin, about the impact of their flagship Connect a Million Minds program.
In a recent announcement, Symantec committed to engaging one million students in STEM skills by 2020. Time Warner Cable has been on this path since 2009. It saw the lack of STEM skills as a constraining factor on its future workforce and decided to look for win-win outcomes.
Phil Preston: The Connect a Million Minds initiative appears to work on many levels. It is framed as a philanthropic project, however it also has elements of shared value because, indirectly, you are improving your future workforce, the competitiveness of American industry and your own business prosperity. Can you tell us how the focus on STEM skill development came about?
Milinda Martin: We selected STEM for a variety of reasons, and you have hit on one in your introduction: We need STEM-educated workers for our industry. We know that the U.S. is not training enough students in these skills to the point where there is a gap between open positions and skilled workers taking them — not just in cable, but in all STEM-dependent industries. However, that was just one reason why we chose Connect a Million Minds as our philanthropic platform.
We also want to positively impact communities, and we know that STEM jobs are high paying and can lift a family out of poverty. We feel that financially stable communities not only are better for the individuals that live in them, but also for the businesses that provide services to them.Click to continue reading »