Wolf Administration Encourages Young Women to Consider STEM Careers During Keynote Speech at Women in Science Symposium, Wayne County

Hawley, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Deputy Secretary of Technology and Innovation Sheri Collins encouraged a crowd of more than 160 students to consider career possibilities in the science and technology fields during the Fourth Annual Women in Science Symposium in Hawley, Wayne County.

“I am truly honored to be speaking at such an important event,” said Deputy Secretary Collins. “The Wolf Administration understands the critical need for workforce development, and that means ensuring that women are equally ready and eager to jump into STEM careers.”

Held at Woodloch Resort, the Women in Science Symposium brings young women from five school districts together with more than 50 STEM professionals to exchange ideas about careers and make networking connections. The event was hosted by the Lacawac Sanctuary and the Workforce Alliance and included discussion panels, networking sessions, and question and answer opportunities.

“Research shows that when self-assessing their science and math abilities, girls are tougher on self-assessments even when their achievements are equal to or greater than boys,” said Craig Lukatch-Setser, president of Lacawac Sanctuary Biological Field Station and Environmental Education Center. “The differences in self-assessments widen as girls transition from middle school to college. It is more and more crucial that we give girls the tools and the role models to succeed in achieving their dreams in a STEM field. The Women in Science Symposium is one of the best tools to help encourage STEM careers and offer the motivation needed to pursue greatness.”

Helping Pennsylvania students and jobseekers become better prepared for in-demand technical and STEM careers is a priority of the Wolf Administration. Governor Tom Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, a first-of-its-kind $30 million investment, is a new way of thinking about job training and workforce development by providing targeted funding for education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as computer science and job training, so students and workers get the skills needed for middle class jobs in expanding industries.

“This is an exciting event for our local kids,” said Lucyann Vierling, executive director of the Workforce Alliance. “To have the opportunity to talk to professional women and understand there are so many STEM-based careers in our area is priceless. The decision-making process is all about exposure to real people with real journeys. Just a powerful day.”

For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to workforce development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132

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