Boston, Mass. — JA Worldwide (JA) has announced a new partnership with Alcoa Foundation to launch a global curriculum that will bring enhanced STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education to middle and high school students. JA Worldwide received a $750,000 investment from Alcoa Foundation to create JA Assembling Your Career, a program comprised of supplemental STEM career sessions for students in JA markets across the globe.
The international job market is becoming increasingly dependent on qualified applicants with formal STEM education. Recent predictions show that 85 to 95 percent of jobs will require STEM skills by 2020. JA Assembling Your Career encourages students to think about how their current skills and interests will serve them in future high-growth, high-demand careers. JA Assembling Your Career contains three interactive, STEM-focused activities that can be used by volunteers or teachers in the classroom as stand-alone activities, or as an enhancement to existing high school JA programs.
“The international job market is becoming increasingly dependent on qualified applicants with formal STEM education. In fact, recent data from the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training shows that 85 to 95 percent of jobs will require STEM skills by 2020,” said Sean C. Rush, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide. “Junior Achievement believes in the boundless potential of youth. Through our partnership with Alcoa Foundation we can bring customized STEM education and career readiness tools to youth and help inspire a new generation of scientists, engineers and manufacturers.”
Piloted internationally in 2013, JA Assembling Your Career’s first implementation sites include Brazil, France, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, with expansion into additional countries planned for future years. Additionally, the JA Assembling Your Career curriculum will be made available to other partners such as Skills USA, a career and technical student organization, and Project Leap, a leadership development program for nonprofit industry professionals, to further expand its reach.
Alcoa Foundation works with partners to inspire future STEM innovators and introduce students to manufacturing, showcasing the creativity and career mobility that the industry offers. JA Assembling Your Career promotes the importance of STEM skills on an international scale and help middle and high school students understand the global career opportunities available to them in manufacturing.
“The Alcoa Foundation partnership with Junior Achievement is helping young people around the world imagine a new path for their future,” said Esra Ozer, Alcoa Foundation president. “Together, we believe that by exposing more students to STEM programs, they can learn the skills needed to be successful in their future careers.”