Do you have a future computer programmer, wildlife biologist, economist, engineer, nutritionist, psychologist or architect in your household that is preparing for college? Did you know they could qualify for up to $22,000 in scholarship funding over five years just for pursuing a STEM college degree?What are STEM Careers?STEM careers- those requiring a science, technology, engineering, or math-related degree, not only account for more than 10% of jobs in the United States, many of them pay wage close to double the U.S. average, according to data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.Supply ShortageWashington’s dynamic and growing high-technology economy creates many high-skill and high-wage job opportunities for its residents. However, it also creates challenges for the state’s postsecondary education and training system. For example, a 2013 report by the Washington Roundtable, an organization representing business and industry leaders, revealed that there were 25,000 unfilled jobs in Washington due to a lack of qualified candidates. This same report projected that, if this trend continues, local companies will experience approximately 50,000 vacancies by 2017 due to skill gaps in key fields. STEM and health care jobs account for 90 percent of these projected vacancies.Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS)The Washington State Legislature created the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship in 2011 to address rising tuition at Washington colleges. The scholarship helps low and middle income residents earn their bachelor’s degree in STEM fields.Scholarship Deadline – February 29The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) application deadline is Monday, February 29. The WSOS scholarship is for students interested in a STEM bachelor's degree, and the award is up to $22,500 over 5 years to any state school.The application will take students 20-30 minutes to complete. This application also requires a transcript to verify a 2.5 GPA, but there are no required letters of recommendation. Students can apply online at https://www.waopportunityscholarship.org/Last year, more than 600 of these scholarships were awarded and every eligible applicant received funding. There is an expectation to award more than 800 this year.What’s Happening with STEM in Wenatchee?K-12 has begun integrating STEM education into our curriculum, but still faces challenges with creating awareness in the broader community. To aid in this effort, a collective impact group know as the Apple STEM Network is forming. The goal of the network is bring together educators, employers and citizens to enhance awareness and align resources to support STEM. For more information about the Apple STEM Network visit applestemnetwork.org
"Students line up at the Pacific Engineering both at the NCW College and Career Expo"
"Dr. Sue Kane speaks with a student from Matawa about healthcare career training at Wenatchee Valley College."