According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States will have more than 1.2 million job openings in science-, technology-, engineering- and mathematics- (STEM) related occupations by 2018. Yet, there will be a significant shortage of qualified high school and college graduates to fill these careers.
From engineers to pipefitters, chemists to accountants, IT specialists to welders, Tesoro’s success relies on our ability to recruit and retain employees with exceptional STEM-related skills. As an employer constantly seeking out top-talent and as a socially responsible corporate citizen, supporting STEM education-related programs is the cornerstone of Tesoro’s community investment strategy.
Our goal is to invest in STEM-related initiatives that better prepare middle school, high school and career/technical education (CTE) students for professional and academic success by increasing access to high-quality, educational resources and instruction. Beginning in 2016, 50 percent of our strategic community investments will be dedicated to supporting STEM education initiatives.
Tesoro in Action
Tesoro community investments in STEM education programs are making an impact. Here are some examples:
STEM Pipeline Project (San Antonio)
Tesoro awarded two $100,000 grants – one to the P16Plus Council of Greater Bexar County (P16) and one to Communities In Schools of San Antonio (CIS) – to help create the STEM Pipeline Project within the Harlandale Independent School District (HISD). The initiative is designed to increase access for all HISD middle school students to STEM curriculum, prepare them with the skills needed to succeed in STEM fields of study and provide teachers with extensive professional development and a premier curriculum.
Tesoro’s grant to P16 will support professional development for eight middle school teachers and two administrators from HISD who will attend an intensive, two-week training using Project Lead The Way at the University of Texas at Tyler. The popular, STEM curriculum is a hands-on, project-based tool used in elementary, middle and high schools. Tesoro’s grant to CIS will support the enhancement of a robust after-school program that focuses on extending STEM learning beyond the school day.
West High School Process Engineering Program (Salt Lake City)
West High School, in the Salt Lake City School District, provides a process engineering program to introduce students to various engineering design concepts through hands-on activities, projects and experiments supplemented by guest speakers, field trips, job shadowing and internships. An $80,000 grant from Tesoro enabled West High School to double the number of students served by the program by adding an advanced curriculum to the introductory course.
Challenger Learning Center of Alaska (Kenai)
The Challenger Learning Center is a vital and valuable educational resource for Alaska and is recognized as a strong component of the State’s educational system. It provides a highly successful on-site and distance-learning environment unlike any other in Alaska. The Center inspires students to study STEM through a medium of space and earth sciences education.
A $27,000 grant from Tesoro provided over 800 fifth and sixth grade students with interactive mission experiences at the Center and nine weeks of pre-mission curriculum aligned with state standards and grade level expectations. The goals of the program are to engage youth in STEM activities and inspire them to the look beyond everyday things and see the possibilities knowledge and familiarity with STEM offers throughout life.
International Trade Education Programs (Los Angeles)
International Trade Education Programs (ITEP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preparing economically disadvantaged high school and post-high school students for careers in international trade by emphasizing leadership, teamwork and experiential learning. Through partnerships with ports, transportation, logistics and related industries, ITEP prepares high school students for diverse career opportunities in high-growth job sectors.
Through a $75,000 grant, Tesoro will help advance career exploration and internship opportunities for Harbor Area/South Bay students from low-income communities. Specifically, Tesoro’s support will benefit ITEP’s Port of Los Angeles International Trade Academy and provide nearly 200 Phineas Banning High School students courses in logistics, global trade on the Internet and geography that augment their core training in math, English, science and social studies.