News Release

National Science Board to meet with educators and students in Louisiana

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National Science Board logo (Credit and Larger Version)

October 23, 2017

Two special events will explore skilled technical workforce needs and diversity in STEM

The National Science Board (NSB) will hold two “listening sessions” in Louisiana to hear from local stakeholders about the challenges and opportunities facing the skilled technical workforce and underrepresented minorities and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The sessions will take place concurrently at Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC) and Xavier University of Louisiana on the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. NSB is the governing board of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and an advisor to Congress and the President on science policy issues. NSF is the only federal agency to support fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.

“America’s economy is driven largely by a diverse, STEM-capable, technical workforce and NSF plays a critical role in strengthening that community,” said NSB Chair Maria Zuber, who will lead the BRCC skilled technical workforce discussion. “We’re looking forward to hearing from people in Louisiana who have experience with these issues, from students in STEM to representatives of industries who employ people with technical skills.”  

The Board has championed a greater understanding of and support for a U.S. scientific and engineering workforce with individuals from all demographic groups and at all education levels. NSB is currently focusing its attention on the segment of people who use STEM skills in the workplace, but who do not have a 4-year degree, the skilled technical workforce.

NSB is also concerned with the need to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM, as the nation’s ability to remain globally competitive depends on the ingenuity and capabilities of people from diverse backgrounds. NSF has taken a variety of approaches to broaden participation across its many programs.

“What types of roadblocks do women and underrepresented minorities encounter? What approaches have been effective to overcoming these obstacles? What kinds of policies help enable STEM education and career pathways for diverse groups? These are examples of the kinds of questions we’ll be exploring,” said James Jackson, who chairs the Board’s External Engagement Committee, and who will attend the session on broadening participation in STEM at Xavier University of Louisiana.

Both events are expected to offer unique local insights into workforce issues and catalyze discussions about essential components of the nation's economy.  

For more information, please contact Nadine Lymn at (703) 292-2490 or


About NSB 

Jointly the NSB and the Director pursue the goals and function of the NSF. The Director is the ex-officio 25th member of the NSB. The NSB establishes NSF policies within the framework of applicable national policies set forth by the President and Congress. NSB identifies issues critical to NSF's future, approves the agency's strategic budget direction and the annual budget submission to the Office of Management and Budget, and consults on new major programs and awards. The NSB also provides the President and Congress with a biennial report on U.S. progress in science and technology, Science and Engineering Indicators, providing comparisons to other nations in the areas of research and development, STEM education, and workforce training.

The President appoints Board members for six-year terms and may reappoint members for a second term. Members are drawn primarily from universities and industry and selected for their eminence in research, education, and records of distinguished service. Collectively, the Board represents a variety of science and engineering disciplines and regions across the United States. 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2020, its budget is $8.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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