WASHINGTON – Today the House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation to support education and workforce development programs in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science (STEM) fields. 

H.R. 5509, the Innovations in Mentoring, Training, and Apprenticeships Act, is sponsored by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and cosponsored by Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

More than two million jobs in STEM fields are projected to go unfilled in the next decade. H.R. 5509 directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide awards to academic institutions for innovative approaches to STEM education and related workforce development programs. The bill strengthens the workforce pipeline in STEM fields through apprenticeships and other applied learning opportunities with regional employers in in-demand STEM fields for two-year degree programs, technical skills certificates and baccalaureate STEM degree programs. The bill also requires NSF to conduct research to improve our understanding of the skilled technical workforce.

Majority Leader McCarthy:

“Making sure this century is America’s century means supporting opportunities for success in a competitive economy. Today’s passage of the Innovations in Mentoring, Training, and Apprenticeships Act will support education and training that fit the needs of the community. This targeted approach is a strong step in the right direction to fitting students with careers—not just jobs. I thank Chairman Smith for his help in getting this bill across the House floor.”

Chairman Smith:

“In today’s technologically driven economy, our country faces the challenge of meeting the demand for a strong STEM workforce. H.R. 5509 is a step towards ensuring our country remains competitive. By directing the National Science Foundation to develop and support innovative STEM programs, American students will have a greater opportunity to succeed in this global economy. I thank Leader McCarthy for his hard work to build and strengthen the country’s STEM workforce.”

Click here to see a statement of support of H.R. 5509 from James Brown, executive director of the STEM Education Coalition.

Text of the bill can be found here.