Raleigh, North Carolina, -  The Facts:
- At all levels of educational attainment, STEM job holders earn 11 percent higher wages compared with their same-degree counterparts in other jobs.
- The average annual wage for all STEM occupations was $77,880 in May 2009, significantly above the U.S. average of $43,460 for non-STEM occupations.
- Over the past 10 years, STEM jobs grew three times faster than non-STEM jobs. STEM jobs are expected to grow by 17 percent during the 2008–2018 period versus 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM jobs.
- I n 2010, the unemployment rate for STEM workers was 5.3 percent; for all other occupations, it was 10 percent.

The Institute joined leaders from around the nation at the NGA Center on Best Practices STEM Summit in Raleigh, NC this week.  The three-day event brought together teams from states across the nation to focus time on building state action plans to produce a STEM-capable workforce.   To support this effort, the NGA Center has developed a governor's guide for building a cross-system STEM policy agenda.  The guide contains a policy framework for building student and worker STEM skills to grow state economics. 

Industry representatives participating in the session voiced concern that the US is falling behind and to remain competitive we need a strong STEM workforce.  Keynote speakers Greg Babe, CEO, Bayer and Rick Stephens, Senior Vice President, The Boeing Company, highlighted the employer perspective of the need for STEM skills and STEM literacy.  STEM skills are required across nearly every sector where jobs are growing.  The application of STEM Skills - via critical thinking and team work to solve real world problems - is valued by employers across a range of sectors.  The Institute, serving as an additional voice for the nation's manufacturers, provided technical assistance to teams to support plan development.  The Institute present the NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System as the model for building the applied-STEM pathway , presenting the framework to build the next generation manufacturing workforce grounded in the NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System.

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