MCLEAN, VA – Terry McAuliffe today released his bold plan to make Virginia the best state in the nation for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Healthcare (STEM-H), and computer science and computation thinking (CS & CT) education. By tackling the digital equity gap, integrating STEM-H and computer science literacy across all subjects and K-12 grade levels, and engaging the private sector to make opportunities available to students from all backgrounds and corners of the Commonwealth, Terry’s Path to A Brighter Future plan
seeks to level the playing field and give every Virginia child the chance to get a good paying job in these critical growing sectors.
Virginia is one of the top five states in the nation for STEM jobs
, however research shows that only nine percent of young women age 13-17 are interested in STEM careers and only sixteen percent of STEM workers are Black or Hispanic. As Virginia’s next Governor, Terry will take direct aim at these inequities by funding supplemental STEM-H and computer science programs in underserved communities, working with local school divisions to connect students with the technologies they need to succeed, and strengthening professional development and skills training for educators to better engage and support students in these critical areas.
STEM-H and computer science industries are in dire need of highly-skilled workers to fill increasingly technical jobs. As Governor, Terry will work with the private sector to create opportunities for Virginia students from all backgrounds and regions of the Commonwealth to access these high-paying careers. Through a comprehensive STEM-H, CS & CT Workforce Development Plan, Terry’s administration will partner with K-12 leaders, institutions of higher education, and private sector partners to develop regional Technology Innovation Labs, offer career-oriented regional workshops, and create internships and apprenticeships to foster both in-person and virtual learning and experience.
“I’m excited to see Terry’s new STEM-H education plan is rooted in tackling the lack of diversity in many STEM-H fields and focuses on increasing access for those who have been systematically left out. For far too long, there have been equity and access gaps that have prevented young women and students of color from entering STEM-H and computer science careers,” said House Education Committee Chair Roslyn Tyler (Brunswick, Greensville, Lunenburg, Southampton, Sussex, Emporia, and Franklin). “As we recover from this pandemic, we have the opportunity to close economic disparities but only if we give Virginians the educational tools to succeed. Terry’s bold plan will expand diversity in the STEM-H fields, close economic disparities, and ultimately end the workforce and teacher shortage Virginia is facing.”
“This COVID crisis has only worsened the inequities Virginia already faced in education and equipping the next generation to succeed. Now is the time to go big and be bold to ensure that every Virginia child has the education and opportunities they need to access good paying jobs in these fast-growing industries.” said Terry McAuliffe. “By integrating STEM-H and computer science education across curricula, partnering with the private sector to create valuable learning opportunities, and addressing the inequities that keep young women and people of color out of these fields, we can level the playing field and give students from all backgrounds and corners of the Commonwealth the chance to succeed.”
As Virginia’s 72nd governor, Terry made big strides in fostering education and training in these fast-growing, highly-technical fields. He signed the first law in the U.S. mandating computer science education for all K-12 students, created grant programs for cybersecurity camps for students and cyber boot camps for teachers, and led the nation in participation in the “NSA Day of Cyber school challenge” in 2016, where nearly 7,000 students gained firsthand experience in cyber careers, skills and tools. Terry also set an aggressive goal to graduate more than 50,000 Virginians each year from training programs in STEM-H fields — a goal that Virginia exceeded. His new plan builds on these efforts and seeks to ensure that every Virginia student will be STEM-H, CS & CT literate upon graduation.
Since launching his campaign, Terry has released big, bold plans to strengthen Virginia’s education system
and dramatically increase teacher pay, help secure Virginia’s economic recovery from COVID-19
, ensure Virginians have access
to regular nutritious meals, address the broken, predatory system of prescription drug pricing
, boldly confront the gun violence epidemic
in the Commonwealth and reform our criminal justice system
to create a more equitable Virginia. As governor, Terry will take bold and decisive action to create jobs, protect workers, invest in mental health services, and rebuild Virginia’s thriving network of small businesses, particularly Black and Brown-owned businesses.