Expanding the Conversation on STEM

Open a newspaper or turn on the TV today and you’ll be hard pressed to ignore the steady drumbeat of an improving economy. Unemployment rates are at pre-recession levels. Private sector jobs are growing at the fastest pace since 1997. The number of Americans without health insurance has fallen by nearly 30 percent. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts we added over 60,000 jobs last year alone, pushing our unemployment rate down to 5.5 percent.

But this rosy picture is only half the story. Here’s the other half: In Massachusetts, the unemployment rate is over 60 percent higher for black residents than for white and 110 percent higher for Hispanics. Just as alarming, the poverty rate for black families in our state is 144 percent higher than for their white neighbors and 273 percent higher for Hispanics.

These numbers reveal the ugly undercurrent to our economic recovery; we are leaving people behind.

With this in mind, I joined the Latino STEM Alliance last month for a discussion about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. Around the table were business owners, vocational school educators, nursing professionals and other public officials who share my concern that we are building an economy that too many families —> Read More Here


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