SUNY, Center for Economic Growth Announce Capital District STEMSmart Alliance

April 23, 2012

Albany – The State University of New York, Center for Economic Growth, and Capital District education and business leaders today announced the formation of the Tech Valley STEMSmart Alliance, which will bring area partners together to advance education in Science, Technology, Education, and Math (STEM).

A President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) national report calls for the preparation of 1 million additional college graduates in the STEM fields over the next 10 years. Across New York State, STEM careers are growing 2.5 times faster than the non-STEM average.

“This is a proud day for the Capital Region as partners in education and economic development come together to build a stronger educational foundation for local students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – fields that are so critical in today’s marketplace,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.  “Congratulations to all of the Tech Valley STEMSmart Alliance members on bringing our shared vision of a brighter future for all students to fruition. I look forward to our continued partnership as the work of the alliance progresses.”

The Alliance joins the SUNY Empire State STEM Learning Network (Empire STEM), a statewide network of public-private partnerships driving systemic change in education to fuel innovation and growth. Through a partnership between SUNY and the Battelle Memorial Institute, Empire STEM is mobilizing communities across the state to develop and coordinate locally-relevant goals, actions, and outcomes that are aligned to and supported by regional, state and national interests.

SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline Johanna Duncan-Poitier, who delivered the keynote address at today’s launch, said, “The STEM disciplines are fueling today’s economy and it is more important than ever that we, as educators, are preparing more students to succeed in these fields. It is essential that we work together to maximize available resources and share best practices to increase the number of students who graduate from high school and college prepared for the STEM careers. Thank you to all of our partners for their commitment to the future of our students.”

The Center for Economic Growth, in partnership with Empire STEM, will facilitate the work of the Alliance, which is comprised of the region’s four Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), area business and community leaders, local community colleges, four-year institutes and research universities, and other educational and community organizations involved in STEM teaching and learning.

CEG President F. Michael Tucker highlighted the critical need for expanded STEM education, and said, “STEM is a key economic driver in Tech Valley. We need a qualified workforce pipeline to sustain this region’s considerable momentum in building high-tech and advanced manufacturing industry clusters.” 

The Tech Valley STEMSmart Alliance is interconnected with other regional hubs of Empire STEM, including alliances announced in 2011 in Central New York, the Southern Tier, and Long Island. Similar hubs are under development in the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, North Country, and New York City.  Empire STEM helps regions to accelerate progress through open collaboration with one another and with other state STEM networks across the country.

Empire STEM was incubated through a progressive dialogue on STEM education led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Now operated by SUNY, it supports SUNY’s strategic vision for a seamless education pipeline and initiatives to transform teacher education, develop early college high school partnerships, expand cooperative education, improve remediation at community colleges, and build cradle to career networks across the state. The Alliance envisions a future in which schools prepare all students for educational success and provide a career-ready workforce for the region’s increasingly diverse, STEM-based economy. To that end, the Tech Valley STEMSmart Alliance will:

  • Extend the impact of STEM resources by connecting and scaling up existing STEM-related programs, platforms, partnerships, and curricula;
  • Provide focus and resource coordination in support of its partners’ efforts to build broad awareness and understanding of the need for STEM education and increase community support for and student participation in interdisciplinary STEM courses;
  • Provide focus and resource coordination to regional initiatives to enhance the capacity of administrators and teachers to deliver high quality interdisciplinary STEM instruction and project-based and inquiry-based learning; and
  • Promote and coordinate the utilization of the region’s business and educational assets to expose learners to 21st Century careers and education paths.

About the Center for Economic Growth
CEG is the premier economic development organization in New York’s Tech Valley and serves as the Capital Region’s designated Regional Technology Development Center. A private, non-profit, membership-based organization, CEG creates economic impact by working with partners in business, government, and education on strategic initiatives to grow local companies, attract new industry and investment, and prepare communities for future growth.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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