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Middle-Skill STEM State Policy Framework

By Ian Rosenblum and Richard Kazis

Workers with sub-baccalaureate credentials are qualified for half of all STEM jobs, and these jobs’ annual salaries average more than $50,000, according to the Brookings Institution. Thus these “middle-skill” STEM jobs represent an unprecedented opportunity for historically underserved students who disproportionately enroll at community colleges.

To help states and community colleges strengthen pipelines into STEM careers that do not require a four-year degree, Jobs for the Future and Achieving the Dream have created a Middle-Skill STEM State Policy Framework highlighting concrete state policy levers and strategies. The framework is based on work in seven states—a yearlong initiative to launch STEM Regional Collaboratives in three states (Connecticut, Florida, and Ohio) and work to engage four more states to advance middle-skill STEM state policy agendas (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Virginia)—made possible through generous funding from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The work is profiled in a second publication, STEM Regional Collaboratives: The Opportunity.

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