The President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, in partnership with the Business Council, Business Roundtable, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and the American Chemistry Council, announced on Sept. 1 that 45 industry leaders have committed to double the engineering internships available at their companies in 2012. Five companies have also committed to increase their internships for a total of 50 committed to this effort.
These commitments will add approximately 6,300 additional opportunities for hands-on, technical job experience for engineering students.
The Jobs Council's High Tech Education working group, co-chaired by Intel CEO Paul Otellini and Permac Industries CEO Darlene Miller, has made this issue a critical priority because an engineering gap threatens the U.S. role as the world's leading innovator and hinders the ability to create jobs and compete in a global economy.
From 1990 to 2010, overall college graduation levels in the United States have grown about 50%, but during that same period the number of engineering graduates has stagnated at around 120,000. By contrast, roughly 1 million engineers a year graduate from universities in India and China.
"Looking forward, this nation is at risk of a significant shortfall of qualified experts in science and math to meet the country's needs," said Otellini. "Todays announcement is about inspiring and encouraging our next generation of engineers."
The NAM and the Manufacturing Institute has advocated for STEM programs and training to build a skilled workforce. In June, President Obama joined the NAM's Manufacturing Institute and its efforts toward the goal of credentialing 500,000 community college students with skills certifications tailored to the needs of manufacturers.
"Advanced education and training is becoming increasingly more important to manufacturers. If employees do not have the right training and skills, manufacturers in the United States will fall behind our competitors, harming our economic growth," said NAM CEO Jay Timmons. "These manufacturers are to be commended for taking an important step to increase the number of STEM internship opportunities, which is critical to economic growth and job creation."
Companies committing today to double their internship opportunities in 2012 are:
American Express Company
Duke Energy Corp.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Kawasaki Motors Corp. US.
Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging Inc.
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC
Power Cubers Inc.
Simon Property Group Inc.
Spectra Energy Corp.
Special Products and Manufacturing Inc.
TE Connectivity, LTD.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.