Verizon on S.T.E.M.

Verizon on S.T.E.M.

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Here is why Verizon's focus on getting students interested in studying STEM is good for Verizon and society

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A child solving a math problem on a laptop.

A teacher helps a student out with an online project.

Rose Stuckey Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation (

Monday, April 23, 2012 - 1:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Education


Blog post from Rose Stuckey Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation.

We often say that we work to build long-term value for both Verizon and for society. Nowhere is this more evident than in our support for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and our emphasis on helping underserved schools integrate technology into classrooms.

Many studies have shown that minorities, women, and low-income students are underrepresented in the scientific and technical disciplines – a “STEM gap” if you will. But the demand for workers skilled in STEM subjects is strong and growing. Did you know that over the past 10 years, STEM jobs grew three times faster than non-STEM jobs? In 2010, the unemployment rate for STEM workers was just 5.3 percent, while for all others it was 10 percent.

Verizon needs a workforce with the scientific and technical skills necessary to improve our networks and keep our edge in innovation. We believe that finding and nurturing that innovative talent – wherever it may be – will help bridge the STEM gap, spur technical innovation, and in turn, power growth for the entire economy.

One example of our work to nurture minority and women students in scientific and technical careers is a Foundation-funded program in Pennsylvania called “STEM for an Equitable Future.” It fosters learning and enhances effective recruitment, enrollment, retention and graduation of female, low-income, first generation and minority students. By providing academic counseling, research opportunities and mentoring, students develop their skills and — importantly — enhance confidence in their ability to excel in school.

As consumers demand more from Verizon's networks and the mobile devices powered by them, we will need thousands of employees with talent, dedication, and a passion for innovation to keep us in the vanguard of technology – employees like Owren Hosier, a principle system performance engineer for Verizon Wireless. Owren has a reputation for being able to design around difficult circumstances. He is responsible for evaluating 3,500 network sites each day to ensure Verizon has enough capacity to serve its customers and he uses statistics extensively to determine what is going to happen on our networks, and where. His background in science and engineering allowed him to refine a custom Cell Inventory Tool that graphically represents the components at each cell site to more efficiently prioritize the deployment of equipment and resources, ensuring that the network runs smoothly.

Last year the Verizon Foundation invested $21 million in education initiatives. Stay tuned as we highlight some of the educational programs we’re supporting across the country.

For more information on Verizon’s philanthropic work or to apply for a grant, visit