Developing a Diverse Regional Engineering Talent Ecosystem: The Boeing–Washington University Joint Engineering Leadership Development Program

This case study examines how The Boeing Company and Washington University in St. Louis are collaborating with St. Louis Community College and the University of Missouri in St. Louis to develop a diverse regional engineering talent ecosystem. This program can provide insights and implications for stakeholders in government, business, and higher education on developing a workforce that meets today’s engineering skills needs, as well as one that can serve as a model for other fields.

The Joint Engineering Leadership Development Program (JELDP) provides a pathway to bachelor’s degrees in civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering to nontraditional students and directly benefits the St. Louis region’s economic development. JELDP minimizes structural barriers to opportunity by offering students access to a pathway into the engineering profession that begins in a local community college or UMSL and leads them through Washington University into competitive positions at companies like Boeing. This multidimensional program incorporates high-impact practices and work-based learning opportunities—such as internships, experiential learning, and capstone projects—to holistically develop students both personally and professionally as engineers.

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