BHEF-ACT Brief Presents Policy Recommendations to Improve the Talent Pipeline for STEM and STEM-Related Careers

CEO Brian Fitzgerald Highlights HEWI as a Gateway Initiative to Build the Innovation Ecosystem

Washington, D.C. (April 25) — Today, the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) and ACT released a joint report with recommendations for strategic collaboration among business, higher education, and government to improve and create a more diverse talent pool for the American innovation workforce. The report, Building the Talent Pipeline: Recommendations for The Condition of STEM 2013, is based on principles rooted in BHEF’s Higher Education and Workforce Initiative (HEWI), which creates regional workforce projects in emerging fields such as data science and analytics, and cybersecurity through strategic engagement of business and higher education. These emerging fields cut across industries, including aerospace and defense, financial services, agriculture, heath, and energy.
In both the private and non-profit sectors, significant demand has grown exponentially for enabled professionals in these fields, many of which have ties to STEM disciplines. BHEF members and national partners respond to this demand through HEWI, participating in regional projects or supporting national networks, such as BHEF’s National Cybersecurity Network, which has more than 70 members. 

During his panel at the U.S. News STEM Solutions conference, BHEF CEO Brian Fitzgerald highlighted how HEWI builds and sustains higher education partnerships that support the acquisition of STEM skills for all undergraduates, which provide on-ramps to become high skilled, enabled professionals in high-demand fields. BHEF’s engagement model for business in higher education outlines proven strategies—engaging c-suite leadership, strategically focusing corporate philanthropy, facilitating and encouraging employee engagement, identifying and tapping core competencies, and expanding the focus of funded research—to facilitate these undergraduate solutions.

“As our CEO members attest, keeping the national focus on helping college students persist in these emerging fields through the first two years of college—which our U.S. STEM Undergraduate Model has proven to have the highest ROI—will help keep our nation globally competitive and secure,” stated Fitzgerald. He continued: “One such member is Bill Swanson, executive chairman of Raytheon, and former BHEF chair and current executive committee member. His personal commitment to solving the workforce deficit, first in STEM, and now these emerging fields, was a driving force behind the creation of the U.S. STEM Education Model, which was donated to BHEF. We applaud U.S. News for recognizing him with his induction into the STEM Leadership Hall of Fame.” 

About the Business-Higher Education Forum
Now in its 36th year, BHEF is the nation's oldest membership organization of Fortune 500 CEOs, prominent college and university presidents, and other leaders dedicated to advancing innovative education and workforce solutions and improving U.S. competitiveness. BHEF's business and academic members collaborate in regions across the country to design and deploy education-workforce solutions in the high-demand and emerging fields that are so critical to innovation and national security. BHEF and its members drive change locally, work to influence public policy at the national and state levels, and inspire other leaders to act.