Tech-driven firms commit $300M to STEM education at Detroit event

 

  • Private sector offers $300 million boost to STEM training
  • Quicken Loans to train 15,000 Detroit students
  • GM also joins tech giants ahead of announcement in Detroit

 

The lobbying arm of U.S. internet companies announced a $300 million commitment from leading technology companies toward STEM education ahead of an event in Detroit with Ivanka Trump and Quicken Loans Inc. Chairman Dan Gilbert.

Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and cloud computing firm Salesforce Inc. said they will contribute $50 million each over five years through the Internet Association’s new commitment to boosting education programs in science, technology, engineering and math.

Detroit-based automaker General Motors Co., management consulting giant Accenture PLC and and online education firm Pluralsight are donating $10 million each to the cause.

Aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin pledged a $25 million donation, while private individuals and foundations are committing another $3 million, according to a news release.

Gilbert’s Quicken Loans is committing to finance computer science training for 15,000 students in Detroit Public Schools Community District.

The private sector pledges to STEM education follow President Donald Trump’s action on Monday directing U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to divert $200 million of her department’s budget to education in STEM and computer coding to meet the demands of U.S. employers.

“The White House, the business community and educators across the country agree that computer science must be made a top priority for American workers to be prepared for the jobs of the 21st century,” Michael Beckerman, president and CEO of the Internet Association, said in a statement.

Ivanka Trump, Gilbert and other tech company CEOs plan to detail the emphasis on STEM education at an 11 a.m. event at Detroit Design 139, a display of real estate development projects across Detroit inside a Gilbert-owned building on Campus Martius.

Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org, a computer science training website, will be on hand for the announcement.

According to his organization, there are more than 500,000 computing jobs open nationally across multiple business sectors, but about 50,000 computer science graduates annually in the U.S.

“Whether a student wishes to be a lawyer, a nurse, a scientist or a coder, a background in computer science will provide a critical foundation for the future,” Partovi said in a statement.

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