Track: Bridging the Barriers in STEM
The focus of this SciTech Kickoff Conference workshop will center on the relationship between education, business and government in meeting the increasing needs of students with Autism who have a desire to enter a highly-skilled workforce in a rapidly evolving economy. The format for the session will include a panel discussion and a break out discussion addressing problems the education and business community face as they prepare the Autism Workforce.
The panel will be comprised of representatives from our K-12 public schools, higher education institutions, business and government sectors. The panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities their organizations face in preparing students with Autism for entry and success in the workplace, where many of the jobs of tomorrow have yet to be defined and created.
While the panel moderator will drive the discussions, questions and concerns will be important to ensuring for a rich and substantive dialog. There will also be time allotted during the panel presentation to field questions directly from the participants.
Many Arizona businesses are facing a serious dilemma. They have openings to fill, but are having problems finding skilled workers for the positions. Addressing this skills gap or skills mismatch is a major challenge in Arizona and the rest of the nation. In addition to a skills mismatch, Phoenix has been labeled the most Autism friendly city.
We invite community stakeholders to participate in a engaging conversation among a group of diverse sectors in Arizona—including large and small employers, training and post-secondary education institutions, civic and youth organizations, philanthropic foundations, technology entrepreneurs, and experienced policymakers—to catalyze a solutions based conversation focused on designing educational opportunities to create a better workforce for the Autism Community.
Panel Moderator: Kenneth Mims, Superintendent of Schools, Science Prep Academy