The U.S. is losing its competitive edge compared to countries like China due to its lack of focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. American companies throughout the entire tech ecosystem consistently face talent shortages. TechNet supports efforts to grow and strengthen America’s talent pipeline by ensuring equitable access to digital skills training across occupations; encouraging and supporting American students to pursue STEM fields, particularly computer science education; and retooling our immigration policies to attract global talent. TechNet advocates for greater federal investments in education and the workforce to help all American students and workers succeed in a global, interconnected, and technology-driven economy. In particular, TechNet supports:
· At least $250 million in dedicated annual federal funding to promote computer science and STEM education.
· Tax incentives for employers – especially small businesses – to incentivize significant new investments in the skills of the current workforce.
· Including or expanding computer science offerings in high schools and allowing qualified computer science courses to fulfill a core high school graduation requirement.
· Robust and sustained efforts to train and recruit more high-quality STEM and computer science teachers through effective professional development and teacher training programs.
· Promotion of the K-12 Computer Science Framework developed by the Association for Computing Machinery, Code.org, the Computer Science Teachers Association, the Cyber Innovation Center, and the National Math and Science Initiative in collaboration with states, school districts, and the computer science education community.
· Greater use of innovation and data to help workers understand available training and career paths and policies that would make it easier for individuals to differentiate between credentials and search for quality programs which are likely to lead to in-demand and higher-wage jobs. These systems must also be enabled to integrate data across employment, training, and higher education.
· Apprenticeships and career and technical education programs that advance the knowledge and skills necessary for college and career readiness and success in high-demand technical career pathways.
· Invest in federal workforce programs which provide individuals with access to additional relevant skills training, including online tools and services, throughout their lives, as well as more funding to existing workforce programs focusing on technology and skills.
· Lifelong learning, retraining, and reskilling policies and programs that allow workers to attain the education and skills they need to stay current as jobs evolve and advance their careers.
· Broader work-based training programs, including support for transitional employment which would provide subsidies for time-limited, wage-paid work experiences and skill development.
· Policies that encourage the use of digital content and technology, including access to high-speed wireless broadband and connectivity in the classroom, to provide individualized learning experiences, improve educational outcomes, and teach valuable workforce skills.
· Ensuring that student data is protected, while also providing parents, teachers, and students the ability to access educational tools to promote innovation and technology in the classroom.
· Policies and programs that increase internet adoption at home and digital literacy so that students can complete their assignments and so individuals of all ages can access online training for skilled jobs.
· Education and training in digital ethics and data privacy for STEM researchers from undergraduate through graduate education.