More than 150 students from East Bay high schools attended the annual East Bay STEM Career Awareness Day. Mayors Ally Medina of Emeryville and Jesse Arreguin of Berkeley kicked off the event held at Wareham Development’s Emery Station in Emeryville to inspire young people from under-served communities to pursue science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) studies and careers. STEM jobs pay, on average, 26% more than non-STEM jobs with comparable education requirements.
STEM Career Awareness Day, led by the Institute for STEM Education and sponsored by the Alameda County Workforce Development Board, Bayer, the Cities of Berkeley and Emeryville, Dynavax, the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, the Port of Oakland, and Wareham Development, gives students a first-hand look at local STEM companies, paired with a wide range of hands-on science and innovation activities. More than 75 STEM professionals served as career mentors for the day, and college counselors offered guidance on financial aid and classes needed to pursue STEM majors.
The event is designed to help address the growing STEM workforce gap. While California ranks first in the nation in the total number of entry-level STEM positions available, the state is underperforming in the rate of bachelor’s degree completions in popular STEM fields California ranks 38th in computer science and 37th in engineering.