Eric Swalwell Promotes Access to Companies for Local Students
Recently, President Obama announced grants to help integrate work experience into educational programs in the US with the intention that the grants will help finance partnerships between local education agencies and employers. Participants in this program will have the opportunity for job-shadowing and mentoring which will give students a chance to experience, first hand, high-demand industries such as information technology, health-care and other science and technology sectors. This grant program is an important development for our educational system as it introduces a reshaping of what current high schools offer and will ensure that students are properly prepared for the rigors of college and a rapidly evolving job market.
This vision is already becoming a reality to East Bay students. Congressman Eric Swalwell, who serves as the U.S. Representative from California’s 15th congressional district, which covers most of eastern Alameda County in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, has created a program that is providing East Bay students with access to companies that can inspire them and help prepare them for a successful career in industry. He says, “We need schools to put themselves into the community that surrounds them. For example, here in the East Bay and Silicon Valley, we have biotech and tech firms that can help students understand the relevance of math and science in the world around them. It is my hope that students and their teachers dedicate themselves to reaching out to those in industry to establish mutually beneficial relationships, and vice-versa.”
Rep. Swalwell is a part of the House of Representatives’ Science, Space and Technology committee and has been active in promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education that prepares students for the 21st century economy and workforce. As an example of his commitment, he has been coordinating an inaugural STEM App Challenge in the region. The Challenge is taking place across the country in participating Congressional districts, with winners being selected from each. Students submit the prototype of an app (for a phone or tablet) and a short video explaining the process and thinking behind it. Rep. Swalwell has held three workshops at which students were provided with assistance from both professional app developers and computer science instructors.