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The Next Generation of Youth Entrepreneurs in STEM Innovation

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Created on February 16, 2016

Long before the concept of STEM entered the American lexicon, African-American scientists, educators, and entrepreneurs were creating important products, services, and businesses that helped shape the American economy. From Benjamin Banneker, a mathematician and polymath in 18th Century Maryland, to Dr. Charles Drew, a 20th Century doctor and blood specialist who revolutionized the process of blood transfusions, our nation has prospered and developed as a global leader in science, economics, and business, thanks to the significant contributions of men and women of color.

The stakes are high: America’s future success in the global arena depends on our ability to foster innovation within communities that historically have been under-served. As the world’s top scientists and engineers pave the way for new breakthroughs across emerging industries, the U.S. continues to be the global leader in science and technology discoveries. The Obama Administration has championed the 21st century STEM revolution.

However, as the demand for STEM careers increases, experts and business leaders across the country have expressed their concern with the lack of skilled workforce that can support the American innovation economy. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, African-Americans and Hispanics have been consistently under-represented in STEM employment. Addressing this widening gap is a vital issue and we must leverage the potential expertise of every American to expand the U.S. footprint in the next era of innovation.

On February 24, 2016, at 2 p.m. EST, please join us for a live webinar focused on strategies for increasing the participation of African-Americans and Latinos in STEM careers and entrepreneurship opportunities.

America’s Innovation Future

Centered on youth entrepreneurship and STEM innovation, the webinar will be led by two leading experts in the field: Justin Tanner, MBDA Associate Director of the Office of Legislative, Education and Intergovernmental Affairs and Joyce Ward, USPTO Director of the Office of Education and Outreach. Also joining the conversation is Dr. James E. West, co-inventor of the electret microphone used in most telephones and a 1999 Inductee to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Calvin Mackie, Executive Director of STEM NOLA, will also discuss his work in New Orleans to train and motivate young STEM innovators. The webinar will showcase two young innovators, Arlyne Simon and Keiana Cavé, as they share their motivation to spearhead STEM discoveries for their generation.

The participants will share their unique experience as it relates to STEM innovation, and outline prescriptions for increasing pathways to success for young African-Americans and other people of color.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Role in Strengthening Inclusion

During the webinar, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about federal, state and local resources available to the youth in the area of STEM innovation and hear first-hand about the great programs at the U.S. Department of Commerce that support the next generation of STEM leaders.

At the U.S. Department of Commerce, we understand that we cannot begin conversations about strengthening U.S. innovation without first talking about investing in tomorrow’s workforce. We embrace the fact that we need to encourage a young generation of engineers and scientists to become business and tech savvy. In order for us to remain a world leader in the global marketplace, we must leverage our diversity in the most strategic ways.

This begins with advancing our commitment to serving historically disadvantaged groups which have all too often remain untapped and underutilized. This is the perfect time to support the diverse millennial talent base, as it continues to shape and fast-track technological change. This begins with the supporting a new pipeline of youth innovators that are equipped with the skills to spur innovation and create the opportunities of the future.

Register now to join the conversation on advancing STEM inclusion and leveraging federal resources to support the next generation of minority innovators.