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TWC Grants $1 Million for High-Tech Summer Camps

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DSN Newswire The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) awarded 14 grants totaling nearly $1 million to Texas universities and community colleges for summer youth camps that focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The grants provide the opportunity for nearly 1,000 students between ages 14 and 21 to attend camps which will help prepare them for future high-skill, high-demand jobs.

“These camps allow students to explore STEM disciplines outside the classroom while showing them the possibilities of a career in those fields,” Governor Rick Perry said. “The Texas economy is becoming more and more technologically advanced, and our continuing success depends on the skills these bright young scientists and engineers will bring to the workforce.”

Administered by TWC, the effort is part of the Governor’s Summer Merit Program, which aims to inspire Texas youth to pursue STEM-related careers. The camps introduce campers to one or more of six industry clusters: advanced technologies and manufacturing, aerospace and defense, biotechnology and life sciences, information and computer technology, petroleum refining and chemical products, and energy.

“TWC is pleased to partner with these outstanding universities and community colleges to offer Texas students opportunities to explore high-demand STEM disciplines,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “The Governor’s Summer Merit Program is a statewide effort to expose students to the vast array of careers that require science, technology, engineering, and math skills.”

Some students will have the opportunity to take field trips that will give them access to high-tech equipment, such as 3D printers and electron telescopes, while others will visit science and engineering facilities and have the opportunity to speak with professionals working in STEM fields.

“The young people who receive scholarships for these camps will be exposed to a vast array of opportunities in the STEM fields and will discover possibilities their education may enable them to obtain once they leave the classroom and embark on their lives as professionals,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton.

Several of the camps are specifically targeted to encourage young women and minorities to pursue further education and careers in the STEM fields.

“It is wonderful to see these institutions of higher education reaching out to young women,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade. “It is very exciting for the future of Texas to have young men and women interested in STEM.”

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