Creating and training the workforce of tomorrow requires collaboration among employers, educators and many other stakeholders all dedicated to the alignment and needs of next generation talent. Such region-wide, cross functional cooperation allows the Great Lakes Bay Region to shape our future.

The Great Lakes Bay STEM Initiative has worked extensively to develop a set of recommendations, a roadmap for implementation and best practices to build a strong, internationally-recognized STEM talent pipeline in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Over the years, our work has identified six key requirements of a high-performing STEM region:

  • Responds to employer demand and builds technical skills in STEM fields
  • Develops students who are career and college ready
  • Develops a culture of STEM and increases access to high-quality Out-of-School Learning  experiences
  • Promotes the robust pipeline of higher education institutions and opportunities for learning across the region
  • Creates an environment that is attractive to talent
  • Reduces barriers to high-quality STEM experiences

From K-12 programming, to designing supplemental Out-of-School time STEM curriculum within the  community, to workforce training and beyond, the STEM talent pipeline in the Great Lakes Bay Region is designed from cradle to career in support of our future. This design merits such planning and development, as the outlook for STEM careers at all levels within our region through 2026 is significant and growing.

Designing a STEM ecosystem that supports the future of the region is no small feat, however. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the help of well over 500 partners, including school systems, community organizations, arts and culture organizations, networks of educators, employers, parents and many more partners.

Key Work Groups

College and Career Readiness

The Network collaborates with regional entities to increase interest and performance in math, science and computer science. Initially, the Network launched the Middle School Math Project with the goal of improving middle school math scores. Project leaders identified nationally recognized programs that engage students in math activities and to provide professional development to teachers.

Thousands of students and teachers in the region are taking part in various interventions primarily via Bedtime Math, ST Math, CS Fundamentals, CS Discoveries, AP CS Principles, CTE Cybersecurity, MiSTAR, Math Recovery and the Great Lakes Bay Math Specialist Program.

Employer Talent Pipeline

The Employer Talent Pipeline Project encourages business and education partnerships with a primary goal of increasing experiential learning to enhance the regional workforce.

The Network created a Work-Based Learning Toolkit to help employers, educators, parents, and advisors navigate the many ways to be engaged in various learning opportunities. The options for the toolkit vary from job shadowing to co-op employment and internships. Work-based learning benefits students, businesses, and the community. Any, business- no matter how large or small- can benefit from engaging students in these types of learning opportunities. Work-based learning comes in a variety of forms and can be short or long-term in nature. Work-based learning engages students and builds the workforce of tomorrow by:

  • Providing students “real life” hands-on learning opportunities in the field
  • Creating positive public relations and increasing awareness about local opportunities

The Employer Talent Pipeline work across industry and education sectors to:

  • Create and implement a model for employer-driven experiential learning opportunities.
  • Implement useful tools for multi-dimensional communication to create greater clarity for employer, prospective employees, parents, and students.
  • Identify, organize, and improve the many ways in which employers are currently communicating skills and competencies needed to the skill providers.
  • Assist and support employers so that they can provide thought-leadership on demand forecasting and skills and competencies needed to the skill provider.


Out of School Time

The Out-of-School Time networks seeks to support regional partnerships, featuring dynamic collaborations among out-of-school programs. We create opportunities to think “outside of the box” and recognize that learning can occur inside and outside the classroom. Our goal is to create access and equity to high quality OST STEM learning experiences.

The Out-of-School Time Network is focused on Creating Career-Ready and College-Ready Students and Developing a Culture of STEM.

Schools offer a variety of Out-Of-School Time STEM experiences, such as FIRST Robotics and You Be The Chemist, as do community organizations including the Chippewa Nature Center, Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum, Clare-Gladwin Sparks Program, the Delta College Planetarium in Bay City, the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum in Saginaw and more. The Network has worked diligently to encourage collaboration across entities, build alignment of curriculum, provide professional development opportunities, and increase access for underserved populations.