This morning, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) rolled out a five-year STEM strategic plan. At The Manufacturing Institute (MI), the social-impact arm of the National Association of Manufacturers, we know the timing couldn’t be better. The three goals of the plan— building a strong STEM foundation for all Americans, creating equal access across the country with a focus on diverse populations and preparing the workforce of the future to be STEM ready—complement our ongoing efforts.
In fact, the MI’s Dream It. Do It. program, as well as Manufacturing Day, bring business, community and education leaders together around this cause. And the Creators Wanted campaign brings STEM careers to life. We are excited to support the OSTP and many agencies, including NOAA, NASA and the National Science Foundation, to demonstrate that working with communities to connect STEM to careers in manufacturing is a win for everyone.
Today, nearly half a million jobs are open in the manufacturing sector. Students, parents and educators are seeking a career that is interesting, creative and fulfilling for today’s K-12 students, but they often do not think of manufacturing as a viable option. With this new STEM plan, we are hopeful that students in all communities will have more chances to see the opportunities that await them in a career in manufacturing—from engineering, design and coding to being part of a team that solves pressing health or environmental challenges. In all of these and more, STEM literacy works in concert with career stability.
We are hopeful that the STEM five-year plan creates the pathway for every member of the community to work together and begin (or continue) the discussion on how to prepare today’s students to be college or career ready. Teachers and educators have a great opportunity to work collaboratively in a multitude of cross-curricular activities using this plan as a blueprint for teaching STEM content across all subject areas.
The time is now to start pulling stakeholders together, and manufacturers, their employees and the communities they serve are excited to be part of the equation to help prepare today’s students for the careers of tomorrow.
In her role, Carolyn leads the Institute’s workforce efforts to close the skills gap and inspire all Americans to enter the U.S. manufacturing workforce, focusing on women, youth, and veterans. Carolyn steers the Institute’s initiatives and programs to educate the public on manufacturing careers, improve the quality of manufacturing education, engage, develop and retain key members of the workforce, and identify and document best practices. In addition, Carolyn drives the agenda for the Center for Manufacturing Research, which partners with leading consulting firms in the country. The Institute studies the critical issues facing manufacturing and then applies that research to develop and identify solutions that are implemented by companies, schools, governments, and organizations across the country.
Prior to joining the Institute, Carolyn was Senior Director of Tax Policy at the NAM beginning in 2011, where she was responsible for key portions of the NAM’s tax portfolio representing the manufacturing community on Capitol Hill and in the business community and working closely with the NAM membership. She served as the Director of Legislative and Government Affairs at the Telecommunications Industry Association, Manager of State and Federal Government Affairs for 3M Company, and in various positions on Capitol Hill including as Legislative Director for former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and as a senior legislative staff member for former U.S. Rep. Sue Kelly (R-NY).
Carolyn is a graduate of Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania graduating with a B.A. in Political Science. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and three children.
Latest posts by Carolyn Lee (see all)
- Planning for a Future Where Humans Work Alongside Robots - February 11, 2019
- Skills Gap? The Number of Students Studying Computer Science Is Surging Amid A Shortage of Teachers - January 30, 2019
- Free Program Provides Students a Year of Manufacturing Experience in Just One Course - January 25, 2019