Our Spokane STEM initiative to increase the number of students pursuing and achieving success in STEM careers is now called Career Connect Northeast. GSI still serves as the backbone to creating more STEM experiences for youth but the initiative is now coupled with creating a wider variety of career-connected learning opportunities across northeast Washington for students from kindergarten into adulthood. We partner closely with Career Connect Washington and Washington STEM on initiatives.
Headquartered in Seattle, WA, and launched in 2011, Washington STEM is a statewide, education nonprofit leveraging STEM for social change, removing barriers to credential attainment, and creating pathways to long-term economic security for systemically underserved students. In 2012, Greater Spokane Inc (GSI) was designated one of the first WA regional STEM networks in the state. As of 2022, there are 11 WA STEM Networks each of which brings educators, business leaders, STEM professionals, and community leaders together to build student success and connect them with STEM career opportunities.
In May 2017, WA STEM’s Career Connected Learning initiative was launched with the goal of connecting Washington youth with career-connected learning opportunities that prepare them for high-demand, high-wage jobs. Over the course of the next two years, Career Connect Washington (CCW) built upon the task force recommendations and led regional team discussions to explore the needs and opportunities for career-connected learning.
After that, research evolved into the design of a statewide system of career-connected learning known as CCW and GSI earned the designation of a Career Connect Washington (CCW) Regional Network. The nine CCW Regional Networks are the key to scaling career-connected learning statewide and play an integral role in convening and managing regional, cross-industry partnerships that will lead to the expansion of opportunities for Washington youth.
Each Network region has a CCW Lead as well as a CCL Career Connected Learning Coordinator. At GSI, Cassidy Peterson leads the CCL efforts in collaboration with Jessica Dempsey at NEWESD 101 for the seven counties residing within the NEWESD 101 region. Additionally, GSI’s Career Connect Learning Specialist, Matthew Himlie, will work to expand the career-connected learning opportunities to our regional workforce, 18-30-year-olds.
In 2022, the Spokane STEM Network and the CCW East Network merged efforts and priorities into creating Career Connect Northeast (CCNE). The focus of CCNE will continue to support both the WA STEM and CCW statewide goals through collaboratively developing career-connected learning opportunities for our youth as well as our workforce. Learn more about the GSI Education & Talent efforts, goals, and outreach here: Greater Talent | Greater Spokane Inc.