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Attracting students to STEM a challenge and opportunity, CEO Fanning says
Although science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education offers young people a wealth of career opportunities, many students don't want to enter the field. Overcoming that reluctance is an important challenge for the energy business, CEO Tom Fanning says in a new national report.
"As the energy industry continues to transform itself in an era of widespread technological innovation and changing customer expectations, we need to make sure the next generation of employees has the imagination and skills necessary to thrive in a world of new challenges and opportunities," Fanning said in "100 CEO Leaders in STEM." The report was published by STEMconnector, a national consortium of entities concerned with STEM education.
Fanning also notes the extensive STEM outreach being conducted by employees across the Southern Company system.
"We support STEM programs by engaging students and providing educators with resources to motivate them toward pursuing STEM-related careers. Southern Company system employees regularly visit classrooms to talk with students about their careers," Fanning said. "We host career expos, camps, technology demonstrations, robotics teams and competitions. We partner with schools to develop curricula and award teachers who develop creative and effective approaches. Perhaps most important, our employees serve as mentors and role models."
The report was released at the Global STEM Talent Summit in Washington, D.C. It follows a similar publication from STEMconnector last year that focused on chief technology and information officers and included a message from Southern Company Chief Information Officer Martin Davis.
"We are proud to highlight 100 CEO leaders and recognize their leadership and excellence. The role of CEOs becomes critical to business and innovation. These role models are change leaders," said Edie Fraser, CEO of STEMconnector.