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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Talent Investment Agency boosting Square One Education Network efforts to expand STEM inspiration, opportunity in schools

Lansing, Mich. – The Talent Investment Agency is looking to inspire more than 1,000 Michigan students to explore STEM fields that potentially lead to good careers through a $48,000 grant to the Square One Education Network, Director Wanda M. Stokes said.

The TIA grant helps Square One expand its Masters of Mobility program to an additional 10 Michigan school districts, providing teachers with resources for lessons connected to science, technology, engineering and math.

“So many of the jobs in Michigan today and into the future are tied to the STEM fields,” Stokes said. “TIA providing this funding will help introduce young people to these rewarding careers and help build the talent pipeline Michigan needs to stay competitive in developing and attracting talent.”

Square One provides project-based educational opportunities with a focus on under-resourced communities. The organization invests in school grants, professional development workshops for teachers and vehicle design challenges, all intended to develop the skills needed for the next generation technical workforce. The group this year is working with 11,000 students and 250 teachers.

“The Square One Education Network empowers teachers, equipping them with the knowledge and resources to provide students with innovative STEM learning activities.” Operations Director Barb Land said. “By exposing middle and high school students to real-world technical topics, we are inspiring them to be leaders in a rapidly growing field that is vitally important to Michigan’s future.”

Masters of Mobility includes three layers of training and materials introduced over 15 months. Schools funded by this grant will be invited to participate in Square One’s annual Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge Day, where students design, build – and in some cases, drive – vehicles to develop and showcase newly acquired skills.

The schools that will be served by the TIA grant include; Bridgeport-Spaulding High School in Bridgeport Charter Township, Coleman Junior/Senior High School, Crawford School in Kalkaska, Engadine Schools, Menominee High School, North Central Junior/Senior High School in Spaulding, Posen Junior/Senior High School, Saginaw High School, Standish-Sterling Community High School in Standish and Whittemore-Prescott Junior/Senior High School in Whittmore.

Students and teachers receive a view of potential career paths through training, in-school and after-school experiences, industry tours and the challenge competition.

Increased opportunities for career discovery and exploration as well as job readiness align with the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance initiatives announced in June by Gov. Rick Snyder, Department of Talent and Economic Development Director Roger Curtis and state Superintendent Brian Whiston.

To learn more about the Masters of Mobility program visit Square One Education Network.

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About The Talent Investment Agency (TIA)
TIA joins the efforts of the Workforce Development Agency and the Unemployment Insurance Agency to integrate new workers into the economy and help those workers that have been in or out of the workforce transition into new jobs. TIA coordinates programs related to job preparedness, career-based education, worker training, employment assistance and unemployment insurance.