Public Release: 

Boeing, National Science Foundation announce partnership for workforce

Investment to accelerate training in critical skills, increase the number of women in STEM fields

National Science Foundation


IMAGE: NSF Director France Córdova and Heidi Capozzi, Boeing senior vice president of human resources. view more 

Credit: NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Boeing today announced a new, $21 million partnership through which Boeing will invest $11 million to accelerate training in critical skill areas and increase diversity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Boeing becomes the first business to contribute at a national level to NSF INCLUDES, which aims to enhance U.S. innovation leadership through a commitment to broadening participation.

"We are grateful to Boeing for investing in the future of the U.S. STEM workforce," said France Cordova, NSF director and leader of the NSF INCLUDES initiative. "These kinds of public-private partnerships can lead to a more technically proficient workforce with the skills needed to expand our national research and development base."

Supported by $10 million in funding from Boeing, NSF will invest in the design, development and deployment of online curricula at the community college, undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. To complement Boeing's investment, NSF's Directorate for Education and Human Resources will invest $10 million in awards focused on reskilling and increasing the skill level of the U.S. STEM workforce.

"This investment demonstrates Boeing's commitment to developing the future workforce and growing the skillset of our current employees," said Heidi Capozzi, Boeing senior vice president of Human Resources. "The initiatives will help develop more technical workers and research opportunities for women, especially veterans, seeking to join or return to the STEM workforce."

An additional $1 million Boeing gift to the NSF INCLUDES "Big Idea" initiative focuses on increasing the number of women in STEM fields. For this funding, NSF will prioritize making awards that address the needs of women returning to the STEM workforce, especially veterans.

According to the latest figures from the National Science Board's Science and Engineeing Indicators, the number of jobs requiring substantial STEM expertise has grown nearly 34 percent over the past decade. However, employers nationwide say they are having trouble filling jobs in occupations that depend on skilled technical workers.

To help address the skills gap, NSF, through its "gold star" Merit Review process, will use the funding from Boeing to solicit and review proposals from world class learning institutions and issue awards. Recipient institutions will use that support to develop online curricula in critical skill areas for students and Boeing employees. The initiative aims to equip participants with personalized learning systems in model-based engineering, model-based systems engineering, mechatronics, robotics, data science and sensor analytics, program management and artificial intelligence. The first project supported through this partnership is anticipated to launch in 2019.

This investment by Boeing delivers on its 2017 pledge to invest $300 million in employees, infrastructure and local communities as a result of U.S. tax reform. From this pledge, $100 million were assigned to employee learning and future workforce development, encompassing the $11 million from the partnership with NSF and future investments that will be announced later this year.


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