St. Louis job growth in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) will be 12.4 percent by 2022 and 10.2 percent in Missouri based on a survey of regional employers that Stakeholder Insights co-designed and conducted on behalf of St. Louis Community College Workforce Solutions Group and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), the research unit of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The St. Louis Business Journal and HEC-TV also collaborated as partners in this ongoing regional economic development-oriented project. (See the video/synopsis.) Emerson, World Wide Technology and KWS Gateway Research Center also participated in the panel discussion of results.
(1) adults need to work with K-12 educators and partners to orient children toward science and STEM career opportunities early. Many local programs exist to help do this now.
(2) STEM employers also identify lack of “soft skills” as another critical training need to be addressed. Over half (53%) perceive “lack of communication or interpersonal skills” as a shortcoming of job applicants as well as “lack of critical thinking and problem solving” and “lack of general knowledge about business or industry.”There still is need to master those “liberal arts” communication and research skills to use within STEM professions.