On Wednesday, June 20, OCBC, in partnership with the Orange County Workforce Investment Board, presented “The State of S.T.E.A.M. in Orange County,” at the Microsoft Store at South Coast Plaza. Panelists Kimberly Waite, CH2M Hill, James Herr, The Boeing Company, and Dr. Heather Huntley tackled the latest topics and challenges facing Orange County and California’s education system.
The panel discussed the newest generation entering the workforce: Millennials. As this population enters the workforce, companies are learning how to manage them and provide incentives. Millennials by nature are skilled in multitasking and value the arts, civic engagement and social opportunities, as well as being rewarded for good work. However, the generation also has a characteristic sense of entitlement and can be inflexible with mundane tasks. They love the social aspect of work, not the mundane, and while they tend to get bored they will rise to a challenge if managed properly.
The panel discussed the potential elimination of 15 days of K-12 instruction due to furloughs, and the possible elimination of one year of science education, though two years are required for admission or transfer to a CSU or UC. A large gap in math and writing education already exists within the state’s education system and further reductions will continue to widen the gap as students have less access to math, science and English. Students will not be able to compete on a national and global level, leaving the state and county without an educated workforce. Teachers will have less time to plan lessons; important material that should be covered will be scrapped resulting in essential instruction that cannot be retained.
The forum was emceed by The Honorable Jordan Brandman, Anaheim Union High School District Board of Trustees, and moderated by Dr. Wallace Walrod, OCBC Chief Economic Advisor. For more information contact Alicia Berhow, Vice President of Workforce Development and Advocacy.