STEMCITYPHL REGIONAL NETWORK SELECTED TO LAUNCH THE STEM ECOSYSTEMS INITIATIVE

City of Philadelphia and STEMcityPHL partners selected as one of 27 inaugural communities by the STEM Funders Network to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) opportunities for youth

Philadelphia, September 3, 2015 –  The City of Philadelphia’s STEMcityPHL, a partnered campaign to build collective public impact for STEM education and opportunities, was selected by the STEM Funders Network (SFN), a group of national grant providers from corporate and private foundations, as one of 27 communities to pilot the national STEM Ecosystems Initiative in its inaugural year.

“I am thrilled that STEMcityPHL has been recognized for the work that it has already done to inspire children, especially low-income, minority and female youth, to get involved in STEM.  We know that our regional economy is growing and thriving in STEM-related fields, and by investing in children now and engaging them in STEM opportunities, we are building a better educated and prepared workforce of the future,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “I want to congratulate our partners in this process.  It is only through collective efforts that we will be able to expand and extend STEM education and opportunities.  Thanks also to SFN for seeing our hard work and supporting us as we work to reach more children and families throughout the Philadelphia region.”

The STEMcityPHL Regional Network was one of more than 70 communities invited to apply for the Ecosystem Initiative.  As a selected community, STEMcityPHL will receive support from SFN to better prepare and connect young people with the growing STEM economy.  This designation provides no financial support.

“These innovative communities are providing STEM learning opportunities for millions of young people both in- and out-of-school,” said SFN co-chairs Gerald Solomon, Executive Director, Samueli Foundation, and Ron Ottinger, Executive Director, Noyce Foundation. “It is an initiative to design the kind of infrastructure that ensures that STEM learning is truly ‘everywhere’ and is a top priority for communities supporting youth to develop the skills and knowledge they need for success in a global workforce.”

STEMcityPHL, a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Education, the Philadelphia Education Fund and other area non-profits, works to connect young people throughout the Philadelphia region with learning opportunities that prepare them for STEM careers – the fastest growing employment sector in the region.

“We have 530,000 STEM jobs in the region and currently aren’t graduating students ready to benefit from them,” said Darren Speilman, President and CEO, Philadelphia Education Fund.  “A collaborative collective approach is the only way to move the needle on this critical issue. If we want young people to succeed, jobs to stay, and the economy to grow, we all need to pull together in the same direction to get there. This initiative will help us do just that.”

The 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education served as the lead on STEMcityPHL’s application for the Ecosystem Initiative.

“The significance of this project is that it will establish a much stronger relationship between national education funders and our local foundation and corporate community and education providers,” added F. Joseph Merlino, President, 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education.  “This enhanced relationship will enable us to devise coordinated and compelling approaches to better preparing young people for high demand and high wage jobs in the 21st economy, as well as to be more informed socially responsible citizens.”

Launched the Clinton Global Initiative meeting held in Denver, the STEM Funders Network STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative forms a national Community of Practice with expert coaching and support from leaders such as superintendents, scientists and others. The first gathering of the Community of Practice will be hosted at the White House in November.

For more information about the STEM Ecosystems Initiative, log on tohttp://www.stemecosystems.org/.

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About the STEM Funders Network The SFN was formed in 2011 by a small group of funders from the Grant Makers for Education community to focus attention and better coordinate funding in support of robust STEM programs across the country. The SFN members fund individually as well as collectively and their work has supported the adoption and implementation of NGSS in all 50 states as well as dozens of STEM programs of promise.

Ecosystem funding members of the STEM Funders Network include: Samueli Foundation, Noyce Foundation, Overdeck Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, and Simons Foundation with support by Amgen Foundation, Broadcom Foundation, KDK Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation and Tiger Woods Foundation.

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