Growing and nurturing STEM talent

From food security to climate change to water scarcity, the world needs a new generation of leaders prepared to use science and technology to address these global challenges.

We want to inspire students to pursue STEM classes and programs that prepare them to thrive in the global economy.

This has never been more important – the shortage of qualified candidates who can fill key technical roles is one of the greatest challenges facing research labs and manufacturing facilities around the world.

Globally, the demand for highly-skilled STEM workers will only increase as workplace technologies and processes become more sophisticated and commonplace.


Business Challenge

How can we inspire students to become STEM leaders?

We need to grow our STEM talent pipeline to remain competitive globally – plain and simple. We also need STEM leaders who are ready to solve problems affecting millions of people.

That’s why it’s incumbent upon us to do everything we can to help rectify this imbalance and to make more well-paid STEM jobs accessible to people of every background.

To do so, we’re creating programs and finding collaborators seeking to build the workforce of tomorrow.

We’re also leaning on the passion and talent of our employees around the world.


Approach to solve

Employee passion and educational partnerships

Classrooms are the beginning of every “talent pipeline.” Inspiration starts in school – and so do many career aspirations.

To increase STEM literacy and help nurture a pipeline of STEM workers, teachers are asked to inspire students to pursue science and math. That’s an extraordinary responsibility that we too often take granted.

To help teachers draw creative connections between science and real-world issues, specially trained Dow employees (STEM Ambassadors) engage with local communities and school districts to encourage greater curiosity about science in young students.

Every day around the world, these STEM Ambassadors share their passion and expertise with students, educators and their local communities through career talks, hands-on activities, professional development and much more.

Dow is also helping teachers make STEM education more accessible and providing hands-on programs to apply science by collaborating with a number of incredible STEM-focused organizations.

Dow STEM Ambassadors inspire students and support teachers

In 2014, we formally launched Dow STEM Ambassadors, a group of trained employees who are getting out into communities to inspire students and support teachers. Their impact is wide-ranging..


Solution

Investing in the workforce of tomorrow

In 2018, there were 2,300+ Dow STEM Ambassadors who visited 1,000 classrooms, engaged 200,000+ students inside and outside the classroom, and supported 4,500 educators through STEM outreach.

To broaden our impact, we partner with the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) to support educator participation in professional development academies. We’re also proud to work with the Chemical Educational Foundation in support of the “You Be The Chemist” program. You Be The Chemist provides educators with hands-on professional development training, experience and activities for their classrooms – while giving students an opportunity to test their knowledge of chemistry and science in an academic challenges.

Likewise, our STEM Ambassadors actively mentor FIRST Robotics youth teams by building science, engineering and technology skills that inspire innovation and foster self-confidence, communication and inclusion. In 2018, Dow sponsored nearly 200 FIRST Robotics teams in six countries.

But to directly address the immediate STEM labor shortage, we’ve gone straight to the heart of the matter by partnering with local community colleges to provide fully-paid apprenticeships that can open doors to high-wage careers.

Our U.S. Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program combines on-the-job training with academic instruction. It offers three-plus years of training and on-the-job experience in STEM-related career pathways. Since its 2015 launch, the program has grown to more than 100 apprentices at seven sites across four states – Michigan, California, Texas and Louisiana – with plans for expansion. And in 2017, the program received U.S. Department of Labor Registration, meaning that all participants receive an industry-issued, nationally-recognized credential that certifies occupational proficiency.

All our programs and partnerships to address STEM literacy align with Dow's 2025 Sustainability Goals and specifically, the Engaging for Impact goal, which states that, “by 2025, Dow employees worldwide will have applied their talents to positively impact the lives of 1 billion people.”