Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NVCC Leads STEM Consortium

from the Sun Gazette online

NVCC-Led Consortium Garners Federal Grant for STEM Education

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Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 7:58 am | Updated: 8:02 am, Fri Sep 21, 2012.
Northern Virginia Community College will serve as the leader and fiscal agent for a consortium of community colleges nationwide that have received a $12.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to develop new approaches in training students for careers in science, technology, math, transportation and health care.

NVCC will lead a consortium that also consists of Austin [Texas] Community College, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Muskegon Community College and Mott Community College in Michigan, Shoreline Community College in Seattle and Virginia Western Community College.

The “Credentials to Careers” initiative will show how community colleges, working with nonprofit workforce-development partners and local employers, can quickly scale-up high-performing education and training programs to prepare adult workers for careers in fast-growing, in-demand occupations.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Virginia Space Grant Consortium Internship Serivce

Washington Post Capital Business article link

Free service aims to match employers, students for STEM internships in Va.

By Published: October 7

Virginia has funded a free service that connects employers with college students seeking summer internships in science, technology, engineering or math.

The program, created by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, is an effort to streamline and centralize the internship application process. By doing so, the initiative aims to make it easier for students to build expertise in an in-demand field while giving employers a gateway to groom the highly skilled workers they say they badly need.

The initiative, known as the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program, will create an online hub where Virginia employers can post the internships that they are offering in these fields.
Students can either fill out a broad application that puts them in consideration for any of the positions, or they can apply directly to specific jobs. They can also indicate a preference for working in a particular region of Virginia.

From there, employers can sift through the applicants using a range of search filters: They can sort them by grade point average, major, university or by keyword.

Del. Joe T. May (R-Loudoun) has been a champion of the program and plans to use it to find interns for EIT, the Sterling-based electronics design company at which he is chief technology officer.
May said the new program will formalize and speed up the recruitment process at his firm and will help other workplaces around the region find the talent they need.

Because of that, May describes it as “one of those things that you can’t afford not to do.”

The grant provides $600,000 to be used over two years. Mary Sandy, director of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, said that money covers the cost of building the database, marketing it to colleges, students and employers, and paying a staff to maintain it.

The effort is supported by all of the state’s regional technology trade associations, and its availability was first announced at a recent event held by the Northern Virginia Technology Council. These groups have pledged to market the service to its members.

Bobbie Kilberg, NVTC’s president and chief executive, said that 15 companies signed up right away at the launch event.

“Having an internship program that can build and move to full-time jobs once a student graduates is very important for workforce development,” Kilberg said.