Skilled science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers provide a critical foundation to the success of the telecom industry. As TIA works to return jobs from overseas and attract global companies to the United States, tax cuts and fewer business regulations can achieve only so much. An educated workforce is also an essential factor. Today’s workforce is not keeping up with the demands of constantly evolving technology, as digitization changes every aspect of business from supply chains to customer service.
Without an adequate supply of workers trained in STEM and computer science fields, the U.S. economy will be at a distinct disadvantage to countries that have prioritized teaching these skills. The United States must build domestic sources of talent, starting from the ground up. TIA members are committed to improving and investing in STEM and computer science education for both future and existing workers. The U.S. economy and our nation’s role as a global technology leader depend on channeling more Americans into STEM fields.
Only 40 percent of K-12 classrooms in the United States teach computer science. Computer science education must become a national priority, and educational curricula should recognize the growing need for computer science and STEM talent.
Improving diversity is critical to meeting workforce demands by bringing women and underrepresented minorities into STEM fields. Events such as TIA's Diverse Workforce Panel and Reception highlight the importance of diversity in meeting skills demands. Ethnic, gender and knowledge diversity correlate directly to business success and a strong bottom line.
TIA recognizes the importance of offering workers the opportunity to join the digital workforce through retraining programs, apprenticeships, vocational education and opportunities to transition into engineering and technology occupations. STEM education is a win-win proposition, giving workers the ability to compete for high-paying STEM jobs, and providing companies with the skilled workers they need to succeed.