The U.S. government has identified artificial intelligence (AI), quantum information science (QIS), 5G networks, advanced manufacturing, and biotechnology as the five “Industries of the Future (ITF)”: key technological domains projected to have the greatest impact on advancing national competitiveness in the coming years. Sustained investment in the ITF is crucial to preserving national security, improving American healthcare, advancing towards a green economy, and achieving other societal priorities. Continued progress in the ITF is also necessary for the United States to stay ahead of global economic competitors such as China and the European Union.
However, the United States currently lacks the robust science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce needed for maintaining ITF leadership. Systemic inequities in the U.S. STEM talent pipeline hinder development of the deep scientific and technological expertise needed for U.S. workers to realize the full potential of the ITF. To address these inequities, the federal government must leverage and invest in its strongest vehicle of American scientific talent: the National Science Foundation (NSF).
By expanding its Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), the NSF can help build a scientific and technical workforce that fully reflects American diversity and captures the full value that such diversity offers. The result will be a nation in which more students—including the socioeconomically disadvantaged, minorities, women, and those far-removed from academia—have the skills and opportunities to contribute to the Industries of the Future.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.
Across the U.S., public schools lack the resources to track their facilities and operations, resulting in missed opportunities to ensure equitable access to high quality learning environments.
Here is how smart education policy can make community colleges drivers of economic mobility, employment, and dynamism in local communities.
“Permitting reform” may not sound sexy, but it is critical if the federal government wants to meet its clean energy and climate goals.