How High-Quality Pre-K Strengthens STEM Workforce
Research shows how STEM proficiency starts in early education. STEM matters when building a strong workforce and military
U.S. businesses and the military both increasingly need a workforce with strong skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). In a joint report from ReadyNation and Mission: Readiness, entitled, STEM and Early Childhood: When Skills Take Root, business and military leaders warn of a looming STEM workforce skills gap. The solution? Greater access to high-quality pre-K.
Here, President and CEO of the Main Line Chamber of Commerce Bernard Dagenais details the importance of STEM skills in the workplace at a press conference in Pennsylvania:
This report cites research that developing STEM proficiency starts in the early years. Disadvantaged children can already be 18 months behind their peers on math and reading skills when they begin kindergarten. But this early achievement gap can be prevented through greater access to pre-K. High-quality early education teaches young children real math and science, through enjoyable, age-appropriate, play-based activities. Research has shown that early math proficiency can predict students’ later abilities in math and reading.
If America does not produce enough young people who can meet the STEM needs of both the private sector and the military, our economy and our national security could suffer.