Last year, NCWIT CEO and Co-founder Lucy Sanders was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce Innovation Advisory Board. This board was formally established as part of the 2010 America COMPETES Act, to guide a study of U.S. innovation and competitiveness that would help inform job creation and global economic and technological success.
Today the Innovation Advisory Board delivered the results of its study, The Competitive and Innovation Capacity of the United States, to Congress. The report makes three important findings:
Federal investments in research, education and infrastructure were critical building blocks for American economic competitiveness, business expansion and job creation in the last century;
Failures to properly invest in, and have comprehensive strategies for, those areas eroded America’s competitive position; and,
In a constrained budgetary environment, prioritizing support for these pillars are imperative for America’s economic future and provide a strong return on investment for the U.S. taxpayer.
Additionally, the report underscores the importance of education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, or STEM fields. For instance, women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs. Ongoing and new administration initiatives are addressing these challenges by making college more affordable, spurring classroom innovation at all levels and expanding the size and quality of STEM teacher ranks. To succeed in the global economy, government must encourage students and workers to pursue STEM education.
Read the full report, here (PDF.)