STEM Career Advancement Project of Central PA

What is ”STEM“?

STEM fields or STEM education is an acronym for the fields of study in the categories of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The term is typically used in addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools from kindergarten through college to improve the nation’s competitiveness in technology development. It has implications for workforce development, national security concerns and immigration policy.

 Why the ‘big deal’ about STEM careers and education? 

In the era of smart phones, advanced computers and machinery and impressive developments made with medicine and health care – technology is moving forward every day. Companies and their employees make this happen – without their knowledge and skills many of our everyday products and ways of life would never be discovered.

There is a rapidly growing demand across almost all industries. These industries are not only pushing forward to increase their demand in today’s market, but also fuel the STEM innovation across the U.S. and abroad.  Many, if not all STEM careers bring in higher wages for employees in addition to more opportunities that will continue to offer more opportunities than other careers.  Pennsylvania alone is estimating that by the year 2018 there will be over 300,000 jobs that will relate to STEM fields – over 50% of which will need some level of post-secondary education (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

The U.S. trails many other countries in the world when it comes to STEM education. Many U.S. companies will hire  individuals from other countries to  perform the high-tech jobs necessary for them to succeed. According to, there are approximately 3 million unfilled positions because companies can’t find U.S. workers with basic technical skills. The STEM initiative began to address the perceived lack of qualified candidates for these high-tech jobs.

 What is the STEM Career Advancement Project of Central PA (STEM CAP)?

A $3.04 million US Department of Labor grant awarded to CPWDC, one of 36 organizations competitively chosen across the nation and was created in an effort to reduce reliance on foreign workers to fill highly technical positions. CPWDC will execute a cross-industry strategy to grow STEM talent through career exploration, individualized career coaching, educational scholarships, and linkages to employment opportunities in support of the region’s key economic drivers — advanced manufacturing, health care and natural gas industries

 STEM CAP scholarships, which could range up to $20,000 each, will provide training opportunities for 200 eligible adults in five sectors: Nursing, Allied Health, Engineering, Information Technology and Management.

 Basic eligibility to apply for a STEM CAP scholarship: 

• Adults living in Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union Counties. Neighboring counties may be considered,
• Currently unemployed or underemployed,
• Have completed a college degree(s) or at least completed college credits (preferably transferable),
• Able to complete a degree by May 2015.

View fast facts on STEM careers:

Interested in completing or advancing your degree in a STEM related field?

The STEM CAP program is currently at full enrollment with a waiting list. To be considered for the waiting list, please contact PICCC at 814-237-8998 to speak with a career coach for the STEM CAP program.