YouthSpark Connections event in New York City highlights education gap

On Friday, a YouthSpark Connections event – the seventeenth in a national series of meetings – brought together local leaders in business, education and government to discuss the emergence of an education gap in the New York City metro area.

According to the Brookings Institution, 71 percent of the current job openings in the New York City metro area require a bachelor’s degree or higher, yet only 35 percent of the population has the necessary education to fulfill these openings. This creates a huge “education gap,” which ranks among the highest of all U.S. cities.

In the New York metro area, like many other locations across the U.S., science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is key to building a workforce ready to compete in today’s job market. According to data from The Brookings Institution, youth (ages 19-25) who have backgrounds in STEM have much lower rates of unemployment than their counterparts who specialize in other areas.

And that’s where programs like Microsoft YouthSpark come in. Kathryn Wilde, president and CEO of the Partnership for NYC, stressed that the education community needs a different structure to support employers and students.

YouthSpark represents a $500 million, 3-year commitment to expand education, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for 300 million youth worldwide. A similar event will be held in Philadelphia on April 29.

For the rest of the story, head on over to Microsoft’s U.S. Metro News Blog.

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Microsoft News Center Staff