SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) — Detroit area civic and business leaders will meet at Lawrence Technological University on Tuesday, Nov. 19, to discuss ways to get more young people involved and active in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in order to take advantage of thousands of unfilled jobs in the American economy.

The free program will be held from 7:50-10 a.m. in the UTLC gallery on LTU’s campus at 21000 West 10 Mile Road in Southfield. For registration and
information, go to .

LTU has historically focused on STEM disciplines, and next year will break ground on a new building that will include the new Richard E. Marburger STEM Center.

According to research by the Brookings Institution, many young people struggle to find work in the U.S. labor force at a time when thousands of positions remain unoccupied because not enough job applicants have an adequate educational foundation in the STEM fields.

Microsoft, in collaboration with the Brookings Institution and the Detroit Regional Chamber, is exploring this urgent condition in series of events called Microsoft YouthSpark Connections. Civic leaders are examining the most current research on youth, education, and the opportunities to better meet the requirements of the labor market through education. Prominent leaders from Detroit education, government, and the civic community will share their insights at the Nov. 19 event.

Detroit Free Press business columnist Tom Walsh will moderate the program. Participants will include Skillman Foundation CEO Tonya Allen; City Year Detroit Executive Director Penny Bailer; John Fikany, general manager, Heartland District, Microsoft; Byron Garrett, director, Innovative Schools, Microsoft; Shelley Stern Grach, director, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Central Region, Microsoft; Link Howard, president and CEO, Powerlink; and Martha Ross, fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution.

The presentations and panel discussions will address key issues such as:
• What is the role of education in preparing students for careers?
• How can we guarantee the education we deliver creates tangible benefits for our students?
• How can students position themselves through education to meet the demands of the labor market?
• How will higher education be affected by growth and evolution in the STEM fields over the coming decade?
• How can we equip educators with innovative teaching tools?

More at


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