Initiative to cultivate STEM learning in the Capital Region

BATON ROUGE, La. (August 27, 2018) — The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) joins ExxonMobil, DOW Chemical, BASF, The Foundation for East Baton Rouge Schools, and West Baton Rouge School System in announcing the launch of Gen Ready, a regional STEM collaborative for the Baton Rouge Area.

The Capital Region partnership between business and industry, school systems and community partners is one of 68 nationwide that are designated as STEM Ecosystems. The national STEM Ecosystem initiative encourages cross-sector collaboration to provide rigorous and effective STEM learning opportunities to students and parents in and out of the classroom.

“Economic development is contingent on a region’s skilled workforce pipeline,” said Monique Scott-Spaulding, Chair of BRAC’s Education and Workforce Issue Council. “Our work with Gen Ready supports our commitment to cultivate the region’s talent through expansion of STEM learning and partnerships in PK-12 public education. It’s our hope that Gen Ready will align all stakeholders who are committed to preparing our students for strong careers after high school.”

BRAC has been a leader in STEM advocacy in the Capital Region since publishing a STEM Strategic Plan for the Region in 2014. BRAC’s staff lead for education and workforce, Ethan J. Melancon, serves on Gen Ready’s advisory council, guiding goal-setting focused on workforce outcomes and connecting regional industry partners with the ecosystem.

“It’s imperative that Capital Region students are prepared to succeed in the very diverse range of STEM-rich careers that are and will be available in our region,” said Melancon. “Collaboration between companies, schools, and workforce trainers can strengthen understanding and practice of workplace skills and guide exposure to just how critical STEM knowledge is to the Capital Region’s key industries.”

Gen Ready has the potential to address a key recommendation from BRAC’s 2014 report: the Capital Region should develop a collaborative network to increase STEM achievement and expand the STEM-skilled workforce in pace with the region’s economic development. Specific tactics from the report, which will be incorporated into Gen Ready, include:

  • increasing student interest, participation, and achievement in STEM;
  • increasing the number of effective STEM teachers and leaders;
  • increasing meaningful business and community STEM engagement; and,
  • increasing STEM education awareness and workforce alignment.

Read more about BRAC’s Strategic Plan at www.brac.org.

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, midsize firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org. 

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