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STEM future relies on support today

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Sixty thousand by the year 2020 – that is the number of new college graduates and educational certificate holders the Central New Mexico community is committed to adding within the next six years.

It’s the goal of Mission: Graduate, a community-wide effort spearheaded by United Way of Central New Mexico and supported by businesses that include Raytheon Albuquerque.

It’s a lofty goal, but one that is critical to the success of our residents, our economy and our region.

For Raytheon Company, inspiring schoolchildren in STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and math – is integral in sustaining our mission of protecting our military and our warfighters from harm.

As we observe National Engineers Week from Feb. 16-22, Raytheon Albuquerque is committed to supporting our schools, teachers and students as we build a stronger talent pipeline that will carry us into the future.

Let’s face it – engineering is challenging. The math is complex and making it through the curriculum can be tough. Many students choose an easier path by the time they reach high school.

Fewer students are pursuing engineering at a time when we need them the most. We are lagging behind other nations in our performance in STEM subjects and in our ability to perform on the job.

It is more important than ever that communities come together to support engineering education and education overall.

To help achieve this goal, Raytheon Albuquerque – which has had a presence in the community since the company acquired Ktech Corporation in 2011 – is a partner in Mission: Graduate.

The effort aims to eliminate achievement gaps, improve high school graduation rates, increase university and college enrollment and graduation rates, and align educational objectives with efforts to recruit new businesses to the area.

Raytheon has long been committed to supporting STEM education in our nation. Since 2005, the company has invested nearly $100 million in STEM initiatives through a Raytheon program called MathMovesU. Raytheon also supports STEM education through:

  • Scholarships and grants to teachers and students
  • Engineering is Elementary, an engineering education program for elementary school teachers
  • Involvement in robotics clubs and hands-on programs in local schools

Raytheon Albuquerque is expanding these efforts in our community. We are mentoring students, bringing them into our company for a first-hand look at the latest technology.

Faced with a nationwide shortage of engineers, Raytheon Albuquerque often must look out of state to fill engineering and highly technical positions. Our hope is to shore up the local talent pipeline so that we can fill jobs with our own skilled residents.

Our engineers are working on some of the most exciting science in the business – next-generation solutions that will revolutionize the battlespace. It’s an area that has tremendous potential for growth and is sure to attract the brightest minds in Albuquerque.

Raytheon is committed to ensuring that our students are prepared to answer the challenge. It is time to take action. Raytheon and other businesses must commit to creating a strong and vibrant pipeline of employees who will become tomorrow’s inventors and innovators. Our future depends on it.

Raytheon Company is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world.

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