STEM is backbone of Georgia economy

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Legislators must seize opportunity to prepare for future occupations in science and tech fields

Atlanta, GA (December 14, 2022)—Science is US Executive Director, Rachel Kerestes, appeared before a subcommittee of the Georgia House of Representatives to highlight the value of STEM occupations, especially those that do not require a four-year college degree, as Members consider ways to educate, recruit and retain workforce talent that can adapt to in the state’s rapidly changing economy.

Here are some of the high points from the presentation delivered by Rachel Kerestes to the Higher Education Workforce Development Subcommittee:

“To succeed the state needs to change the narrative and value all of the STEM professionals that support and drive Georgia’s economic success.”

“Georgia has a unique opportunity to tell a different story of the high value of science, technology, engineering and math-related fields. Nearly six out of ten of the STEM professionals in the state do not hold a bachelor’s degree making Georgia’s STEM workforce incredibly diverse.”

“The challenge—and opportunity—for Georgia is to position these STEM jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree as equally valuable and important as those that do require bachelor’s degrees and above.”

STEM plays an important role in Georgia’s economy, according to a Science is US analysis, STEM and the American Workforce, supporting 62% of the state’s jobs and 66% of its gross domestic product, and generating $28 billion in state and local taxes. Moreover, the study found, 58% of STEM jobs in Georgia are held by people who do not hold a bachelor’s degree.

The subcommittee meeting was the latest in a series featuring leaders from academia, business and the nonprofit sector.

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