As the Federal government strives to grow the U.S. science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce to improve citizen service and strengthen the economy, Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., is ensuring Congress is also doing its part by working on legislation to boost America’s IT education and workforce.

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said in a new report that women make up only 29.3 percent of the Federal government’s employees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) roles, and that the government has a lot of work in front of it to begin narrowing that gap. 

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The Department of Energy (DoE) plans to issue $40 million in funding for research and training in science, technology, education, and math (STEM) areas for historically underrepresented groups, the agency announced on May 25.

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A group of senators led by Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., have introduced legislation that would make it easier for international students with advanced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degrees to work in the United States upon after their schooling is completed.

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has added 22 new fields of study to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for enhancing contributions of nonimmigrant students studying STEM subjects.

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A bipartisan group of senators has reintroduced the Rural STEM Education Act, which would provide Federal support for STEM training in rural schools and instruct the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide grants to support training for rural STEM teachers.

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President Biden

While the structure and details of President Biden’s upcoming infrastructure proposal are still mostly unknown, the President and his team have dropped some possible hints in recent days on items that may touch the infrastructure plan, including a boost in spending on scientific research, and attention toward infrastructure cybersecurity.

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Former National Security Agency (NSA) Deputy Director Chris Inglis knows something about cyber education. Inglis is a professor – currently serving as the Looker Distinguished Visiting Professor of Cyber Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy – and he says the nation needs more coordination and investment in cyber education to meet its needs going forward.  

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is investing in introducing quantum information science (QIS) into K-12 schools, awarding a $750,000 award to an Illinois-based organization that is looking to spread quantum-related curricula.

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The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) announced today the creation of a new research data hub to expand STEM education research.

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White House flag at half mast

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, introduced two bills to the Senate on Sept. 26, that address underrepresented demographic groups in the science, technology, education, and industry (STEM) field and full talent-pool engagement.

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Budget Federal spending

The House Appropriations Committee released a second of five appropriations minibus FY2020 spending bills for Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development.

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workforce

The demand for cybersecurity professionals is growing, according to data published Wednesday on CyberSeek, a free online resource from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Burning Glass, and CompTIA.

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Capital, House of Representatives, Congress, Senate
White House

To attract girls and women to computer science and retain their interest in the field, Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology, said this week it is advocating for a policy agenda that includes expanded computer science classes, increased exposure to women and minorities in tech, and more professional development funding.

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Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, on Wednesday voiced strong criticism of the Federal government’s spending to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in the United States, saying that some of the Federal investment is duplicative and inefficient. 

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Following a House hearing on the cyber workforce shortage, the Department of Homeland Security released information about cyber training programs.

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