The 11th Annual sySTEMnow Conference took place on October 28, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “sySTEM” is an acronym for Strengthening our Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics… “now” means now! The event was open to the general public, including educators and students.
The conference was sponsored by STEM Forward, formerly known as Engineers & Scientists of Milwaukee, a group that has “conceived a cooperative body to meet the needs of engineers in the community” for over 100 years. As technology has evolved, so has the organization, which is currently Southeastern Wisconsin’s leading technical organization “providing and/or promoting educational outreach programs emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).”
The conference included respected keynote speakers, demonstrations by Generation STEM students, engaging breakout speakers, and networking. Mike Reader, President of Precision Plus led one of the breakout sessions, which was entitled “Building the STEM Pipeline: Small Business Partnership with PLTW,” where he, along with Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training, spoke about how small businesses can effectively address their current and future needs for STEM talent in a highly competitive labor market.
Reader and Butters outlined the marked misnomers about manufacturing, and they discussed how STEM-driven technology has drastically changed the manufacturing industry. By partnering with Project Lead The Way and participating high schools, Precision Plus informs, trains and mentors young talent for possible future positions in the company.
Reader and Butters appreciated the opportunity to participate in the sySTEMnow Conference and look forward to continued dialog.