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03/31/2017
Fifth Annual Girls in STEM Event, Open House, and Instant Admission Day at Hudson Valley TEC-SMART on Saturday, April 1

MEDIA CONTACT: Teresa Farrell, (518) 629-7180, t.farrell1@hvcc.edu
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, March 31, 2017

Hudson Valley Community College’s TEC-SMART extension center in Malta will hold an open house event on Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to noon. The event coincides with the 5th Annual Girls in STEM event, which has become so popular that it was filled to capacity within two weeks of opening for registration.

Girls in STEM is a free educational event, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., designed to give girls in grades 4-8 an introduction to STEM fields and careers. The event features hands-on workshops facilitated by leaders and educators in STEM professions designed to illustrate the fun side of science and technology. Girls in STEM is being made possible through a collaboration between Hudson Valley Community College, AT&T, Center for Economic Growth, Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership and other local partners. Congressman Paul Tonko will also be in attendance at Saturday’s event to give his remarks on the importance of introducing girls to STEM pathways.

“Hudson Valley Community College is again proud to host Girls in STEM at TEC-SMART. The event raises early awareness of the many educational and career possibilities in the ever-growing STEM field and exemplifies our commitment to providing opportunities for the next generation of high school and college students,” said Penny Hill, Associate Dean for TEC-SMART at Hudson Valley Community College.

“AT&T's support for the fifth annual Girls in STEM program in Malta is part of the company's commitment to promoting STEM education for children at all levels,” said Marissa Shorenstein, president of AT&T New York. “At the same time, it aligns with AT&T’s longer-term commitment to closing the gender gap in the technology industry disciplines in New York. We applaud the Center for Economic Growth, Hudson Valley Community College and Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership for spearheading this innovative, hands-on program.”

AT&T’s support for this program is part of the company’s legacy of supporting educational programs focused on STEM disciplines in New York through AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature $350 million philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism and mentoring. Aspire is one of the nation’s largest corporate commitments focused on school success and workforce readiness by creating new learning environments and educational delivery systems to help students succeed and prepare them to take on 21st century careers. AT&T has given more than $103 million to support STEM initiatives since 1987. Projects supported by AT&T contributions range from after-school programs and camps for students at risk of dropping out to hands-on technology labs and elite robotics competitions.

“The Center for Economic Growth is committed to supporting efforts that build a modern workforce to sustain the Capital Region’s current industries and future job growth,” said Center for Economic Growth President and CEO Andrew S. Kennedy. “To ensure a competitive and skilled workforce, CEG is helping facilitate events such as Girls in STEM to provide students with hands-on workshops where they can get a feel for what various STEM fields hold for them and why they should be excited about science, technology, engineering and math. STEM skills can translate into secure, high-paying tech jobs, but the ‘wow’ factor that events such as Girls in STEM provide can be just as a compelling reason to pursue a career in a STEM field.”

“The Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership is excited to support Girls in STEM,” said Marty Vanags, President of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership. “A career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) offers so much for women and we know that there is still a large gender imbalance in STEM-related professions. This day of workshops helps to empower young women with hands on activities, teaches them how science and math is applied in the workplace, and lets them know that they belong in STEM related professions. As we grow the economy in Saratoga County we want to ensure that our men and women have the same opportunities in an increasingly tech-focused marketplace.”

“I am honored to participate in this important and timely Girls in STEM event. America has fallen behind in the global economy when it comes to science and engineering. If we want that to change, we need to empower more women, especially women of color, to join the ranks of America’s STEM pioneers and innovators,” said Rep. Paul Tonko. “That is why I worked during the last Congress to introduce the STEM Gateways Act with Rep. Joe Kennedy to improve access to STEM career opportunities for women, people of color, and students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds. Several key parts of our bill were later adopted and signed into law, but we have a long way to go on this issue. More of our students should see that their gender doesn’t have to define their work or the impact they can have on the world.”

Programs like the Girls in STEM event are so important for our youth, and especially girls, because according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor, much of the growth in the domestic and global economy will come from STEM-related jobs – a highly lucrative and competitive field – and an underlining motivation of providing this exploration open house for girls. It is estimated by 2020 there will be 2.4 million unfilled STEM jobs with more than half made up of computer and coding careers, underscoring the importance of providing the youth the tools and skills necessary to compete in this innovation economy.

The urgency for more STEM and computer science educated employees is accentuated by the low percentage of females who are currently employed at major technology firms (29 percent) and women pursuing bachelors’ degrees for computer science, just 18 percent. According research, women in STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those in non-STEM occupations and experience a smaller wage gap relative to men, and increasing opportunities for women in these fields is an important step towards realizing greater economic success and equality for women across the board.

In addition to hosting Girls in STEM, the TEC-SMART Open House offers participants a chance to tour the TEC-SMART facility, meet faculty, academic advisors, admissions and financial aid counselors; find information on the Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Early College High School programs; learn about college courses at TEC-SMART; and enjoy refreshments in the Wireless Café. This year, there will also be a chance to learn about the new Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology A.A.S. degree partnership for GLOBALFOUNDRIES employees, as well as attend a GLOBALFOUNDRIES cleanroom demonstration.

TEC-SMART (Training and Education Center for Semiconductor Manufacturing and Alternative and Renewable Technologies), which is located on Hermes Road in the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park® (STEP®), features more than a dozen state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories to train the workforce. In addition to housing classrooms for Hudson Valley Community College courses in technology, computer science, the liberal arts and business, the facility also hosts the Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Early College High School (ECHS) program, a collaboration with the Ballston Spa School District that educates more than 300 students from 20 school districts around the region. For more information, contact (518) 629-7075.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 80 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of nearly 11,500 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 80,000 alumni.