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Top Indiana industry leaders team up for youth STEM careers

Heavy Industry Worker workman service team working in metal factory while smiling.
Quality Stock Arts(C)/Quality Stock Arts - stock.adobe.com
Heavy Industry Worker workman service team working in metal factory while smiling.

Companies are consistently looking for fresh talent in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

A central Indiana organization is reaching out to encourage young people to consider a STEM career.

The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership is comprised of 65 CEOs of some of Indiana's largest corporations, and a few presidents of the state's major universities.

Partnership CEO Melina Kennedy said for its new See Yourself In campaign, one objective is to educate youth on the possibilities.

"A lot of young people, especially our Gen Z'ers, don't really know 'what does that mean' in advanced industries - like sciences, agbiosciences, tech," said Kennedy. "Even that might be too broad. So, this campaign tries to go a layer deeper, to share with Gen Z'ers the different kinds of jobs and opportunities that there are in these advanced industries."

The campaign highlights life science careers in pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing, and medical research and testing within health information technology.

The Partnership's youth summit, with the Indiana Department of Education, will be in November. The first one was held last year, and more than 200 students statewide attended.

Other career-focused options include a three-year apprenticeship for participants to earn college credits, gain experience, and build their professional network.

Kennedy said See Yourself In is a great introduction for students to connect directly with industry professionals with a strong Indiana presence, whose companies help drive the state's economy.

"That's a starting point for a lot of information, both about real profiles of real people, and the kind of work they're doing," said Kennedy. "So, people can think about these industries, but also connections to tools and other job openings, trainings, profiles - things like that, that can be helpful."

Last month, the Indiana Department of Education announced the certification of 20 more schools as leaders in STEM education, bringing the total to more than 100.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.

Terri Dee has worn many hats in her nearly 30-year career in radio, tv, and print as a news reporter
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