According to research by the Brookings Institution, many young people are struggling to find work in the US labor force. Simultaneously, many open positions remain unoccupied as employers are unable to locate workers with the required skill set. Many of these unfilled jobs are in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Microsoft has found a way to address this pressing matter. Through a collaboration with the Brookings Institution, Microsoft has created an exclusive event series called YouthSpark Connections. On a recent Saturday, the event series came to Los Angeles at USC. Prominent leaders in education, government, and the civic community from the city participated in a discussion to share their insights and perspectives to address this pressing issue.
They examined the most current research on youth, education, and the opportunities to better meet the requirements of the labor market through education. The event had an expert panel including: Dr. John Deasy, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Ron Chandler, CIO of LAUSD, Michael Dolphin, Chief of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties Workforce Division, Allison Graff-Weisner, Senior VP, Advancement and Corporate Strategy, City Year and Dr. Alma Salazar, VP of Education and Workforce Development, LA Chamber of Commerce. The event was a success, garnering more than 100 attendees.