STEMcityPHL is the City of Philadelphia’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education initiative. Our goal is to enhance STEM proficiency and encourage employment in these fields. We do this by promoting and strengthening STEM education opportunities for Philadelphians while supporting our own STEM mentoring programs through the US2020 national initiative.
We are housed in the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce. Specifically, Commerce’s Talent Development Unit. The Talent Development Unit partners with public and private entities, academic institutions, employers and workforce training agencies to create programming that supports tangible pipelines to employment and success for all Philadelphians.
STEMcityPHL was launched through the Mayor’s Office of Education in 2014 and moved to the Department of Commerce in 2016. Although STEM career opportunities are growing in the Philadelphia region, there is a disconnect in the pipeline between talent development in Philadelphia’s K-12 institutions and the recruitment of such talent from local businesses. The academic preparedness of Philadelphia students make it especially challenging to fix this problem. District students have below 50% proficiency rates in mathematics in grades 3-8, and less than 25% of all Philadelphians have a college degree, let alone a degree in a STEM related field. At the same time, with nearly 530,000 STEM jobs, Philadelphia is the eighth largest region for STEM employment. Facing this challenge will require the collective effort and aligned investment of major stakeholders across Philadelphia.
STEMcityPHL will focus on the following four goals:
- Meaningfully and actively engage 75% of the top 100 Philadelphia STEM companies through a myriad of opportunities
- Ensure a minimum of 75% of students graduating from the Philadelphia public schools are STEM-fluent
- Ensure 100% of Philadelphia public school students have the opportunity for at least two non-curricular STEM exposures, at least one of which will be available prior to 8th grade
- Increase the perception of the value of STEM education in business, parent/caregiver and student communities