There’s an ongoing need for business leaders, libraries, community centers, and other organizations to partner with schools and expand the resources available to students. Business leaders can step in and fill this need, supporting both students and educators in a shared goal to grow tomorrow’s workforce. Programs founded on relationships connect students with their possible futures. It puts students in our work environments and supports their long-term mentorship connections.
A great way to bridge the gap created by the remote world is through online learning and mentoring. The virtual format expands the opportunity and accessibility of developing one-on-one mentoring relationships with students. Any organization can offer a mentoring experience with programs like Zoom or Google Meet.
Maryland educators are building and improving the STEM ecosystem by including businesses, libraries, higher education, and government agencies to help students get engaged in STEM opportunities and exposed to different STEM careers and content.
Supporting students is easier than you think.
In 2020 at KCW, we launched the KCW Girls STEM Program, devoted to enabling connections for girls with leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs working in STEM fields. We teamed with public school systems to provide panel events with established women in STEM, $1,500 scholarships and paid internships, and a mentoring match program. This year, 75 Maryland high school students will participate in virtual events and panel discussions with women working in engineering, energy, architecture, and infrastructure.
The impact of programs like this multiplies, as many of the scholarship winners have returned for additional internships, joined our team full-time, and created videos to guide other students along their journey. How can you support future engineers in your area? Contact STEM educators or career counselors at your local schools, offer to set up an event, and use your network of STEM leaders to connect students with the wisdom and empowerment they need to take the next step.
A sentiment from our first program that continues to serve as a motto for us today is: You can’t be what you can’t see. As engineers and business leaders, we have a responsibility to show our youth what’s possible for their futures and provide them with the resources and tools to help them achieve it.
Article written by Kim Groves, P.E., president & CEO, KCW Engineering Technologies, Inc.
For Engineers Week 2023, SMPS also sat down with Hailey Klebe, events & communications manager for KCW Engineering Technologies. Hear what Hailey has to say about this year’s Engineers Week and what’s it like to work for an engineering firm.
Learn more about Engineers Week, taking place this year from February 19–25. Discover downloadable resources and how this year’s theme, Create the Future, can help inspire and impact future generations.