Rapidly evolving technology and innovation, an increasingly competitive and global economy, and the exponential growth of a knowledge-based economy demand a differentiated 21st century workforce. The high-performance, optimal workforce of today andtomorrowis not staffed with job candidates with a static skill set; it is a deep talent pool of individuals prepared to flex and adapt to dynamic scientific, engineering and information technology demands.
How deep? IBM's Sr. VP and Research Director John Kelly recently spoke of the world being "on the verge of another incredible era of technological discovery and innovation," which is why, he said, his company has close to 100,000 technologists, including 3,000 researchers, working on the next era of computing. That is just one company, concentrating on only one sliver of the world's countless technologies and industries. There is a world of globally competitive companies like IBM seeking regions with robust and nimble workforces that can meet complex and ever-changing demands.
Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is helping to create the human capital required to position Arizona as a wellspring of exceptional, 21st century-ready talent.
Since 2007, SFAz has brought 297 of the nation's top scholars to Arizona through the Graduate Research Fellows program, which strengthens Arizona's three research universities and contributes to the vitality of Arizona's scientist and engineer base. The Bisgrove Scholars program, named for a $25 million gift by humanitarian Jerry Bisgrove, draws outstanding early career engineers and scientists from across the nation and around the world to conduct pioneering research at Arizona's research performing institutions.
SFAz engages leading experts in science, innovation and engineering to select participants for the GRF and Bisgrove Scholars programs.
SFAz isn't just recruiting talent to Arizona, it's also helping focus the state's education system on producing a 21st century workforce: GRFs spend one day a week working in middle and high school classrooms, and participating in summer teaching internships; rigorous STEM programs help to prepare Arizona's students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and the Arizona STEM Network is connecting educators and industry to ensure Arizona's education system prepares graduates for existing and future jobs.
"If we are ever to build a STEM pipeline from K-12 to college, and then to careers that accelerate economic growth statewide...it will be because of the engagement among business, industry, education and community provided by Science Foundation Arizona," said Jerry Proctor, SFAz ambassador and former deputy to the Commanding General, US Army Intelligence Center and Ft. Huachuca. SFAz provides a model for creating human capital that will continue to elevate Arizona's standing as a globally competitive business climate where companies will desire to invest and grow.
In keeping with its emphasis on recruiting and developing the most sought after talent, SFAz's leadership comprises nationally and internationally renowned leaders in their respective fields. The SFAz Board of Directors includes captains of industry, top leadership from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), a Nobel laureate and an architect of DoD research programs.
Arizona business, government and philanthropic leaders brought Dr. Bill Harris to Arizona to establish SFAz and serve as President & CEO, because of his similar role with Science Foundation Ireland, which helped catapult Ireland to #1 in Europe for economic impact innovation and #1 in the world for attracting foreign investment.
SFAz is working to create a more globally competitive Arizona.Downloadthe
7-Year Impact Report.