UW News

September 21, 2016

UW receives $500,000 from Boeing to enhance STEM training, opportunities for local students

Boeing announced Wednesday it is awarding $6 million in grants to more than 50 nonprofit organizations and education institutions across Washington, including $500,000 to the University of Washington.

The grants are geared toward programs that enhance STEM, workforce training, and educational and career pathway opportunities for students – particularly for underserved students who have not historically pursued these fields. Included in the grants is $1 million to further support students seeking a STEM education and learning opportunities at local universities.

Junior Ann Margaret Stompro leads a discussion about wildlife ecology as part of the UW's Alternative Spring Break program.

Junior Ann Margaret Stompro leads a discussion about wildlife ecology as part of the UW’s Alternative Spring Break program.U. of Washington

The UW will receive $500,000 to help under-represented high school students attend and succeed at the university, including support for the Dream Project, which trains students to mentor first-generation and low-income high school students. The funds will also help support the UW’s Alternative Spring Break program, during which teams of UW undergraduate students spend their spring break in a rural or tribal community of Washington state working with local elementary and middle schools on literacy arts and environmental science projects.

“This funding will enable UW programs like the Dream Project, Alternative Spring Break and others to dig deeper into their work of connecting UW undergraduates to leadership and mentorship opportunities,” says Ed Taylor, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. “As leaders and mentors, UW students support, teach and motivate younger students to pursue higher education. It’s especially inspiring to see many of our students return to the very communities they grew up in — all around Washington. They help others attain higher education, and, in the process, they develop characteristics and leadership skills that future employers would value.”

Also getting a boost from this grant are the UW’s Multicultural Outreach & Recruitment team and the UW’s Upward Bound and Math Science Upward Bound programs in partnership with Seattle Public Schools.

Boeing expects a substantial portion of its Washington workforce to retire during the next several years and is working to ensure that students in the state have the education and skills to fill these openings and move with the company into its second century. These grants support Boeing’s long-standing commitment to Washington and will prepare the workforce for these opportunities in the near future.

“Boeing will be a significant jobs provider in Washington for decades to come. Our hope and goal is that those future jobs will continue to be filled by kids who grow up right here in the state,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “We are working hard today to give Washington students opportunities for employment within aerospace, manufacturing and other STEM-related fields when they graduate. Despite the always dynamic aerospace industry, Boeing remains consistent in its investment in our future here in Washington.”

Washington State University and Seattle University are also receiving $250,000 to further support STEM student experiences and retention programs. The additional $5 million in grants, ranging from $25,000 to $550,000, are designed to provide a continuum of learning and education resources for Washington’s younger residents.

Some of the largest grants will support: Thrive Washington and its focus upon early learning; Washington STEM and its K-12 learning initiatives; and SkillUp Washington and its manufacturing pathways partnership with community and technical colleges.

This item was adapted from a Boeing news release.