Kicking off National Hispanic Heritage Month 2014, Microsoft, National Journal and The Atlantic hosted “A New America: Empowering Hispanic Millennials for Tech Leadership” on Sept. 18 at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
By 2050, Latinos will comprise a third of the U.S. population, and more than a quarter of the millennial generation that will soon make up the majority of the workforce. Despite these projections, Hispanics continue to be underrepresented when it comes to in-demand science, technology, engineering and math professions. As today’s youth face an opportunity divide – a lack of access to the STEM training and education that will make it possible for them to overcome economic challenges – it is critical to explore how the public and private sectors can collaborate to address this disparity.
Convening leading education and technology policy experts with representatives from Congress and the Administration, the event explored ways to advance Hispanic progress in STEM fields and how we can best prepare Hispanic millennials for STEM leadership. Participants shared their views on the economic importance of promoting STEM studies in Latino communities from an early age all the way through higher education.
The event featured two keynote interviews with Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) and White House Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Muñoz, as well as a panel discussion with leaders from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Excelencia in Education and the University of Maryland.
Microsoft believes that increasing student access to computer science courses is essential for finding success in today’s innovation economy. We recently announced the expansion of our YouthSpark program – a company-wide, global initiative to create opportunities for 300 million youth. Specifically, we have nearly doubled our TEALS program to place software engineers as volunteer computer science teachers in 131 high schools across 18 states, plus the District of Columbia. We are dedicated to helping expand technology education to turn the tide of rising youth unemployment and are proud to be a part of the conversation addressing these disparities.
Tags: Education and Jobs