In a somewhat surprising move, US President Donald Trump issued a proclamation this week to boost education in science, technology, engineering, and math (otherwise known as STEM), with a specialized focus on computer science and coding.
And, perhaps, an even bigger focus on encouraging more young ladies to enter the field.
Yes, this week President Trump has set aside $200 million a year to address this initiative. Of course, Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, has been working closely with the Department of Education on this project.
“It’s easy with computer science and technology to relegate it to simply the tech field,” she told reporters this week in a press call to preview the initiative. “But the reality of the modern workforce is that technology is innovating and disrupting every industry. It is viewed by this administration as a foundational skill to understand computer science.”
Again, the new Department of Education initiative is aimed not only on developing STEM education but also at reaching more young girls and more minority students.
One senior Trump Administration official commented, “The programs need to be designed with diversity in mind.”
Commenting on the program, Trump notes, “The workplace is changing, we need to create new pathways for our citizens to get the best jobs. Greater access to STEM and computer science programs will ensure our [children] have the skills they need to compete, and win, in the [workforce].”
Ivanka Trump echoes her father’s words, saying, “In recent years, with growing technological advancement, the nature of our workforce has increasingly shifted to jobs requiring a different skill set.”
After all, this proclamation should move towards building on Trump’s earlier executive order to encourage more apprenticeships. To help move all of this forward, the Trump Administration will release a list of private companies who will partner to help build these new computer education programs.
An administration official advises that the $200 million in funding will come to the program in the form of grants. More importantly, perhaps, this funding will not require any additional Congressional legislation. “It’s minimum of $200 million,” he comments. “It could, and most likely will, end up being more than that.”