STEM Schools Look to Grow in New York

NEW YORK — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) schools are becoming increasingly popular throughout the country, and New York looks to lead the pack with a recent education plan on the table.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing to establish 10 new programs modeled on Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), an IBM-backed school in Brooklyn that takes students through high school and two years of college with the goal of meeting the demand for workers with the right skills for high-tech jobs.

The public-private partnership was announced as part of Cuomo’s 2013-2014 Executive Budget. There are 10 schools in the proposal from each of the 10 economic development regions, which will participate in the new 6-year education model. By the end of the program (if a student meets the academic requirements) they will graduate with an associate’s degree. The proposal includes a $4 million increase for the Early College High School program (ECHS), which will fund the 10 programs, as well as traditional ECHS programs throughout the state.

“Education is key to America’s economic growth and competitiveness. IBM is pleased to be working with New York state, its businesses and its educators to provide students with the deep knowledge, skills and education needed to prepare students for 21st century jobs in areas like analytics and big data,” said Stanley Litow, vice president of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs at IBM, in a statement.

The proposal means bright futures for not only the students, but for companies and the economy as well. An educated and highly skilled workforce has the ability to strengthen the economy.

“One of New York’s greatest resources and economic drivers is our education system, but we must ensure that our schools are adequately equipped to train students for the high-tech jobs of tomorrow,” said Cuomo in a statement. “This partnership with IBM will better enable the state to invest in selected school districts throughout the state and prepare students, starting in high school, for high-skill jobs in fields such as manufacturing, technology, finance and health care.”

Students will not only receive a high-level of education and training, but the partnership with IBM and other companies also gives the program’s graduates a front-of-the-line position for jobs with these companies.

IBM is the only company to-date to be announced as a partner in the program, but additional partners and resources will be announced in the coming months, according to Cuomo’s office.

IBM will be the key partner for two schools, which have not yet been named publically.