WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, in partnership with the Business Council, Business Roundtable, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and the American Chemistry Council, announced that 45 industry leaders have committed to double the engineering internships available at their companies in 2012. Five companies have also committed to increase their internships for a total of 50 committed to this effort. These commitments are part of a greater Jobs Council effort to help address America’s engineering shortage by graduating 10,000 more engineering students from U.S. colleges and universities each year. These commitments will add approximately 6,300 additional opportunities for hands-on, technical job experience for engineering students.
“For America to stay competitive in the global market, we must train and retain the world’s best engineers,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “Working together, private industry and the public sector can position the U.S. to continue to lead in science and innovation in the 21st century, creating good jobs and laying the foundation for a robust economy.”
“Looking forward, this nation is at risk of a significant shortfall of qualified experts in science and math to meet the country’s needs,” said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. “Today’s announcement is about inspiring and encouraging our next generation of engineers. It’s a private sector commitment working arm and arm with the government to accelerate the specialized skills needed for America to retain its technological pre-eminence.”
Co-chaired by Intel CEO and President Paul Otellini and Permac Industries CEO and President Darlene Miller, the Jobs Council’s High Tech Education working group has made this issue a critical priority because the engineering gap threatens our role as the world’s leading innovator and hinders our ability to create jobs and compete in a global economy. From 1990 to 2010, overall college graduation levels in the United States have grown about 50 percent, but during that same period the number of engineering graduates has stagnated at around 120,000. By contrast, roughly 1 million engineers a year graduate from universities in India and China. This disparity hinders our global competitiveness and threatens our ability to both retain and create high-tech, good-paying jobs here in the United States.
Today’s announcement comes as Secretary of Energy Steven Chu joins Jobs Council Members Otellini and Miller, business leaders and the Deans of the Engineering schools at Georgia Tech, Portland State University, Purdue and the University of California-Berkeley in Portland, Oregon for a regional Listening and Action session to discuss steps the private sector can take to help the United States graduate more engineers every year.
Companies committing today to double their internship opportunities in 2012 are:
American Express Company
Duke Energy Corporation
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Kawasaki Motors Corporation, US.
Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging Inc.
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC
Power Cubers Inc.
Simon Property Group Inc.
Spectra Energy Corporation
Special Products and Manufacturing Inc.
TE Connectivity, LTD.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
In addition, five companies are committing to increase their internship opportunities in 2012. They include:
PCC Structurals Inc.
Johnson and Johnson Inc.
Texas Instruments Inc.
More companies are also expected to join the effort in the coming months.
President Obama formed the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in January of 2011 for the purpose of bolstering the United States economy by fostering job creation, innovation, growth, and competitiveness as the country enters a new phase of economic recovery. The core mission of the Council is to promote growth by investing in American businesses to encourage hiring, to educate and train American workers to compete in the global economy, and to attract the best jobs and businesses in the world to the United States.