Penn College Partners with STEM Premier

Published 06.01.2017

Student News

With backing from UGI Utilities Inc., Pennsylvania College of Technology is enhancing its commitment to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce.

The college has partnered with STEM Premier, the first online platform connecting STEM students from middle school through college to academic institutions, corporate entities and governmental agencies. The program helps students design career pathways, schools recruit top achievers and employers develop a talent pipeline.

Gathered on the Penn College campus to commemorate the partnership among the college, STEM Premier and UGI Utilities Inc. are, from left, Shelley L. Moore, director of career services; Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost; John Welch, STEM Premier co-founder; Ann Blaskiewicz, community relations manager north for UGI Utilities Inc.; and Ashley R. Murphy, director of admissions.“The STEM Premier partnership will be a tremendous asset for both prospective and current students and serve as a valuable tool for employers recruiting our students,” said Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost. “As a national leader in applied technology education, we are acutely aware that the workforce needs an influx of STEM talent. Partnering with STEM Premier will help us identify and nurture that talent.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce projects that STEM occupations will grow by 8.9 percent through 2024, compared to 6.4 percent for non-STEM occupations. The STEM workforce supports high earning potential. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, STEM workers in 2015 earned 29 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts.

“The partnership between Pennsylvania College of Technology and UGI serves as an outstanding example of education and industry combining resources to address the increasing demand to develop a skilled workforce while closing the skills gap in the process,” said John Welch, co-founder of STEM Premier. “The programs offered at Penn College provide students with real employable skills that companies like UGI are highly seeking. STEM Premier is honored to help foster this partnership between two premier institutions like Pennsylvania College of Technology and UGI to assist students in connecting with employers to not only find a job, but more importantly a career!”

The college’s fee for the partnership is partially sponsored by UGI, a natural gas and electric utility company serving approximately 690,000 customers throughout Pennsylvania.

“UGI is proud to support the STEM Premier program at Penn College. UGI recognizes the importance of having qualified candidates for skilled technical jobs,” said Matthew Cadwell, senior manager of talent acquisition. “STEM-based career training creates a pipeline to employment at UGI, as well as many other employers throughout the region. Programs such as STEM Premier help to ensure the economic vitality of our communities now and into the future.”

“UGI has been a longtime supporter of the college, from providing scholarships to hiring our graduates,” Strickland said. “The company’s assistance with the STEM Premier partnership is another example of its commitment to education and tomorrow’s workforce.”

Thanks to the STEM Premier partnership, middle and high school students can create free online accounts that profile their academic history, majors in which they are interested and possible career plans. The college can filter the STEM Premier database to identify and contact students who may be a good fit at the institution.

Current Penn College students will be able to use the platform as an online portfolio, capturing their academic progress and accomplishments. The portfolio will facilitate student connections with future internship, summer, part-time and full-time employers.

“We fully expect this partnership to benefit all parties, but most importantly, it will provide a practical way for students to consider and plan a rewarding future in STEM,” Strickland said. “Once linked to appropriate educational and career pathways, those plans will have an excellent chance of turning into reality.”

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education. For more, email admissions or call toll-free 800-367-9222.