81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas


WHEREAS, mayors recognize the rapidly changing landscape of the global economy, in which workers skilled in computing, science, technology, engineering and mathematics are increasingly necessary for the US to remain innovative, secure, and competitive; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. still faces many challenges in preparing to meet this demand in workers with skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), with the U.S. Department of Labor estimating that by 2020 there will be more than 1.4 million computing-related jobs open, only 30 percent of which will be filled if baccalaureate STEM graduation rates continue at their current pace; and

WHEREAS, if the U.S. is to maintain its global preeminence in STEM fields—and benefit from the social, economic, and national security advantages that come with such preeminence—then it must produce approximately 1 million more STEM professionals than are projected to graduate over the next decade; and

WHEREAS, this means that institutions of higher education will need to increase the number of students who receive undergraduate STEM degrees by approximately 34% by 2020; and

WHEREAS, underrepresented communities like minorities and women represent a significant untapped talent pool that must be harnessed in order to meet this demand; and

WHEREAS, minorities and women make up 70 percent of students on college campuses, though they represent 45 percent of students enrolled in science and engineering programs; and

WHEREAS, only 5 percent to 6 percent of STEM jobs have been held by Hispanics or African Americans at any time between 2000 and 2009; and

WHEREAS, the diversity of our country is an asset for competing on a diverse global stage, and we need more Americans involved in STEM learning and opportunities, especially those from historically underrepresented groups; and

WHEREAS, whether it is pioneering new educational tools for students of all ages, bringing technical training to underrepresented communities, or mobilizing the private sector to establish mentoring programs for young people, many stakeholders can help to catalyze momentum on initiatives and ideas that will shape America’s economic and social future,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports increased momentum and efforts to create inclusive college campuses and bolster underrepresented students’ interest, enrollment and retention in STEM fields through increased preparation, and access to mentors, role models, and hands-on learning opportunities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages cities, states and institutions of higher learning to create collective action plans and adopt policies to address unintended barriers that might limit underrepresented communities’ pursuit of STEM degrees.