WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, in partnership with Intel, MTV, Google and Facebook, is launching Stay With It, an initiative to increase the number of engineering graduates from U.S. universities and colleges through a unique community created to motivate and inspire the engineers of tomorrow.
"President Obama has repeatedly stressed the need to fill the engineering gap and he has made it one of the highest priorities of his Council on Jobs and Competiveness. Today marks a major milestone in that effort," said Charles Bolden, Administrator of NASA. "At NASA, our needs for workers across aerospace in the coming decades will be great. Stay With It is an unprecedented public private partnership to address a skills crisis that will shape our nation's future."
"The inventions and creativity of our nation's engineers will be a key driver of the American economy and pivotal in securing our role as the world's leading innovator," said Jobs Council member and Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. "For this reason, we must find ways to continue inspiring young engineers, and increase the pipeline of talent to American businesses. Stay With It is designed to show students their potential and support them through a rigorous educational journey."
Currently only 14% of all U.S. undergraduates are studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics and, after the first year, 40% of those enrolled in these disciplines switch majors. The annual number of engineering graduates has virtually stagnated at around 120,000.
Through Stay With It, students will gain opportunities to learn about internships, financial support and summer bridge programs for entering freshmen. In addition, as part of Stay With It, more than 65 companies have agreed to double their internships this year. Together, they are offering more than 7,000 opportunities for hands-on, technical job experience, representing a $70-million commitment. Colleges and universities around the country will be hosting viewing parties, including California State University at Sacramento, Cornell University, Duke University, New York Institute of Technology - Manhattan Campus and Old Westbury Campuses, North Carolina State University, Santa Clara University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Florida, University of Hawaii, University of Kentucky, University of Maryland, University of Nevada, Reno and Virginia Tech.
For more information, or to view the launch party at 3:00 p.m. EST today, go to http://www.facebook.com/Engineering.