PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has declared this week “KDKA-TV STEM Week” in Pittsburgh, highlighting the city’s growing strength in science, technology, engineering and math careers.
“We see a big change happening in our economy regionally,” said the Mayor in presenting the proclamation. “Manufacturing is still there and very important, the trades are still very important. But we also see the need for advancements in the fields of STEM, and we don’t have the people right now to fill all those jobs so we want to make sure that everyone fells there’s an opportunity for them.”
The mayor says having a workforce that is trained in technology-based careers is important in attracting companies to the region that can provide well-paying jobs. He points to Amazon as an example. Pittsburgh is rumored to be on Amazon’s shortlist for a city to locate a new headquarters that could bring 50,000 jobs.
“They’re not looking simply for cities that can bring people in. They’re looking for cities that already have a pipeline of talent that is educated and trained in STEM jobs that they will be able to build from,” said the mayor, whose administration is joining with county and state officials and local economic and industry leaders to craft a proposal that they hope will lure Amazon to Pittsburgh.
The mayor also echoed the belief that getting young people and young adults excited about STEM careers is the place to start. He’s pleased to see more programs and schools encouraging girls and young women to choose careers that were once dominated by men.
“To young women who are looking at furthering their education in STEM fields, I would say go for it,” said the mayor. “There’s a world of opportunity that’s there for you, there are companies that are looking for you, and if you have the talent and the interest the world is waiting for you.”
KDKA-TV will foster that enthusiasm by once again sponsoring the now-annual “Girls Rock Science” event at the Carnegie Science Center this Saturday and Sunday. Girls — and boys — who are interested in STEM studies will have a chance to participate in hands-on activities and to meet people who are already making careers in STEM fields. KDKA meteorologists Ron Smiley and Kristin Emery will bring the KDKA-TV Weather Lab to the event to talk to young men and women about the science behind weather forecasting. The event is free with paid admission to the Science Center.
The station and a number of local technology-leading companies are also underwriting “Technovation” a panel discussion featuring a dozen of the region’s top tech leaders. The event will take place Friday at the Renaissance Hotel downtown from 4 to 6 p.m., followed by a networking cocktail gathering from 6 to 8 p.m.
More information on these events can be found at KDKA.com/STEMweek.