November 28, 2017 — Colorado Succeeds and key partners, including the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) and mindSpark Learning, are joining forces to significantly expand STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education across Colorado.
Colorado STEM, a public-private partnership started in 2014, successfully built a diverse coalition of stakeholders across the state with a dedicated focus on STEM. Colorado Succeeds will serve as the new host organization for Colorado STEM and work closely with implementation partners, including CEI and mindSpark Learning, to ensure this work continues and grows. As part of this partnership, the Colorado Succeeds business coalition now will include STEM Champions. STEM Champions are companies and individuals who are committed to investing in incubating innovation and scaling success statewide to ensure that all students have the STEM education and experiences needed to succeed in the innovation economy.
“Ball Corporation and businesses statewide play a critical role in efforts to strengthen STEM education,” said Chris Chavez, executive director of The Ball Foundation at Ball Corporation and a founding STEM Champion. “STEM Champions are excited to continue improving how schools and industry work together, and we are committed to providing all Colorado students with high-quality STEM experiences. I encourage any business that wants to stay in business to join us in future-building.”
Colorado has one of the most highly-skilled labor pools in the country but businesses still rely heavily on recruiting talent from outside the state to fill jobs that require higher levels of STEM skills. At the same time, there is an urgency to ensure every learner is prepared to succeed in college, the workforce, and life through achieving a basic level of STEM literacy regardless of their career choice.
“The economy and the labor market will continue evolving in ways we can’t fully predict,” said Scott Laband, president of Colorado Succeeds, a non-partisan business coalition focused on education issues. “We need to help students build essential skills and competencies by creating engaging and relevant learning environments. STEM Champions are change agents for this transformation – taking a holistic approach from early childhood through post-secondary – and from programmatic implementation to statewide systems change.”
STEM Champions’ top priorities will be to:
- Align the state’s education system with workforce demands through high-quality STEM education and experiences;
- Expand high-quality STEM education and experiences for all students, with a particular focus on students who are underrepresented in STEM fields; and
- Create more opportunities for all students to gain STEM literacy, skills, and competencies that are highly demanded by Colorado’s economy and highly-skilled labor market.
Implementation partners including CEI, mindSpark Learning, and others provide strong connections to Colorado educators, schools, and districts, and will support STEM Champions in deepening their relationships with schools interested in improving STEM.
“STEM advocates in Colorado are a powerful and diverse coalition, ready to engage more deeply to drive outcomes for kids and employers,” said Rebecca Holmes, CEO of the Colorado Education Initiative. “CEI is excited to collaborate with Colorado Succeeds’ as a K-12 implementation partner to support schools and districts in making STEM experiences a top priority. Since STEM Champions are embedded in rapidly changing industries, we believe they can play a key role in helping schools.”
About Colorado Succeeds
Colorado Succeeds is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of Colorado’s business leaders who join forces to ensure our education system works better and smarter for all people of Colorado. We believe Colorado is the best place to live and work, and we want it to stay that way. This great state can only continue its tradition of excellence when all of our children are educated to their greatest potential and all of our businesses have the talented and innovative workforce they need to thrive. We believe great schools are good business. We know when Colorado schools improve, everybody wins.