Capital Region STEM Hub Selected for National Learning Ecosystem

Students dressed in blue scrubs inspect medical equipment as part of a lesson on sterile processing.
Students on the Mohonasen campus of our Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program inspect medical tools as part of a lesson on sterile processing—one of today’s in-demand STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professions students are exploring and developing the knowledge and skills to be competitive with.

In a highly competitive process, the Capital Region STEM Hub, a component of the Empire State STEM Learning Network, has been selected as one of 15 new ecosystems to join the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice (SLECoP).

The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice is a global initiative of innovators who know that thriving communities are built through collaboration and the fundamental belief that learning happens everywhere, not just in traditional classrooms. Ecosystems are made up of partners representing K-12 and Higher Education, business and industry, after-school providers, non-profits, STEM-rich institutions, government and philanthropy.

The 15 new ecosystems joining the SLECoP expand the number  of such organizations to 85 across the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as Israel and Kenya. New ecosystems to join the SLECoP are based in Iowa, Florida, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, South Carolina and West Virginia.

The Capital Region STEM Hub is co-led by The Center for Economic Growth and Capital Region BOCES. Current members of the leadership team include representatives from The Business Council of New York State, The Capital Region Chamber, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, The State University of New York, WMHT, WSWHE BOCES, The Workforce Development Institute and Questar III BOCES.

The Capital Region STEM Hub is focused on three priorities:

  • Creating, supporting, and systematizing partnerships among business, K-12 education, higher education, government, cultural institutions, and non-profits to build and sustain pathways to STEM education and careers.
  • Promoting the importance of STEM education and STEM skills as a regional industry need, workforce development priority and a critical part of the regional economy.
  • Bringing together stakeholders across all sectors to participate in STEM initiatives and events throughout the eight-county region to maximize and strengthen the alignment between formal and information STEM education.

“This was an incredibly competitive process, and we were only able to admit ecosystems who would be capable of making immediate contributions to our thriving community of practice,” said Jan Morrison, president and founding partner of TIES, the organization that operates the SLECoP. “The ecosystems that we selected now have pulled together diverse partners who no longer accept the status quo in education; they want to see all students access high quality STEM education that will prepare them for life and work in the next century.”

“Attracting and developing talent in New York Capital Region is a priority for CEG and our economic development effort,” said Center for Economic Growth President Andrew Kennedy. “In order to continue to attract industry and the talent they need to succeed, we must continue to enhance and expand our workforce development efforts. It’s important that we prepare students for the many opportunities that exist in the STEM fields. We’re confident that joining the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice will enable our students to take those steps needed to have successful careers with companies hiring in the Capital Region.”

“Being selected to join this network through a competitive process highlights the cross sector STEM assets of our region and will serve as a catalyst as we continue to move the work of our STEM hub forward” said Joseph P. Dragone, Ph.D., Senior Executive Officer at Capital Region BOCES. “This is a tremendous opportunity to leverage partnerships across our eight county economic development region to support STEM learning and workforce development.”

Next steps for the Capital Region STEM Hub include expanding the leadership team to increase the Hub’s reach throughout the eight county region and hosting a regional convening to highlight the strengths of STEM Ecosystems across the country and how this work can strengthen STEM teaching, learning, workforce development and career pathways in the Capital Region.