DES MOINES — The Mid-Iowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America will bring together central Iowa’s advanced manufacturing sector and government leaders in a first-of-its-kind effort to expand ways to prepare more Iowa youth for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related job fields.

On March 3, The Mid-Iowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, will present an inaugural STEM-based education and employment summit, “Workforce Development in Iowa – Bridging the Career Awareness Gap.”

Iowa workforce development leaders, including representatives from the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Future Ready Iowa, and Scouting’s new iTech Exploring Program, will all take part in the summit.

iTech Exploring develops the entrepreneurial spirit in young men and women, ages 10-20, by introducing the innovation design process in career fields that use technology every day. iTech Explorers not only learn how industry-specific technology works, but also develop a valuable adaptive mindset by completing an Innovation Design Challenge.

Through the challenge, iTech Explorers apply their newly gained technology skills and innovative mindset to a team-based project that solves a local, national or global issue.

Summit panelists will discuss ways for central Iowa’s advanced manufacturing industry to help meet the state’s future workforce needs, including engaging with more than 45,000 Iowa families with teenage youth who are involved in Scouting and new iTech Exploring program opportunities.

According to Future Ready Iowa 9 of the 10 fastest-growing industries in Iowa require STEM skills. Iowa’s advanced manufacturing businesses, which are fundamental to the state’s economic prosperity, depend on qualified STEM-trained employees and compete for a limited pool of talent.

The summit and networking reception will be held March 3rd from 5pm to 7pm at the Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy in Des Moines. Admission is free but space is limited.

Find more information and register at www.itechbsa.org

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