Vision 2023 STEM Education Alliance

Vision 2023 STEM Education Alliance

On January 13th, twenty-nine school systems and fourteen community colleges joined NC East Alliance’s STEM East leadership team at the East Carolina Heart Institute for the first meeting for a new alliance that, “will operate at the intersection of education, professional learning, workforce development, and economic development.” 

The morning session focused on creating an “Industry in School” Alliance that brings together school districts, community colleges, and industry in a collaboration designed to bolster the region’s workforce.  A committee comprised of superintendents, community college presidents, and NC East Alliance’s STEM East leadership participated in the morning session.

NC East Alliance’s STEM East Network steering committee members will be inventing regional solutions to help educators become, “transformative stakeholders in the regional economy.” A new Industry in School Alliance will focus on teachers and community college faculty as a regional workforce. The committee will collaboratively invent and implement a new educator training system to create a better understanding of nearby jobs and industry clusters. 

As a result, students will have an increased awareness of the jobs in the region, how much post-secondary education is required for those jobs, and what the salary range is for those jobs. The desired outcome is that more of the region’s high school graduates choose to remain in the region for work and/or education.  The ultimate goal is to reverse the decline of our locally homegrown workforce.

Vision 2023 featured two panel discussions. The first, moderated by Dr. Tom Williams, discussed the importance of collaboration between superintendents, community college presidents, other local leaders, and STEM East to ensure the State meets myFutureNC’s 2 million by 2030 educational attainment goal. 

The second panel discussion, moderated by Vann Rogerson, included Senators Jim 

Perry and Bobby Hanig plus Representative John Bell. During that panel discussion, the legislators stressed that student education and workforce preparedness are top agenda items for this upcoming legislative session. All are eager to help the new STEM East Network Alliance grow and positively support educators, students, and industry in the region.

NC East Alliance’s STEM East Network committee meetings will continue in winter/spring 2023. Collectively the new Alliance will plan a path forward. Dr. Ethan Lenker, superintendent of Pitt County Schools, concluded that “it is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”