As Kern Economic Development Foundation (KEDF) enters its second year of executing our reimagined mission of linking business, education and community on STEM projects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), we’re excited to look ahead to what 2018 holds.
In just 12 months, KEDF has partnered with the business and education community to make big strides toward our goal. Our new signature event, the Kern County STEMposium, met with such terrific support in 2017, that we are moving to a larger venue for our April 13, 2018 event. More details can be found in this newsletter.
We’ve also launched our Women in STEM Network with its first “Kern County Women in STEM Circle.” The circle consists of a dozen female STEM professionals and educators who meet monthly to share experiences, build relationships, and identify opportunities for personal and professional growth. The first circle includes a geologist, an architect, an electrical engineer, a financial advisor, a jr. high school teacher, just to name a few. As interest grows, additional circles will be added throughout the County.
In February, KEDF is partnering with Chevron and other local industry representatives to convene the first Dinner & Dialogue. The initial event includes Project Lead the Way teachers, bringing them together to share ideas with each other and to enjoy dinner and conversation with local STEM professionals.
KEDF continues to coordinate two high school mentoring programs for the Kern High School District. The Foundation recruits business representatives to serve as mentors for Independence High School’s Energy and Utilities Academy, and for East Bakersfield High School’s Health Careers Academy.
Finally, the KEDF team is fortunate to have a small but mighty—and very supportive–board of directors. Bill Rector, executive director of WESTEC, was recently selected to serve as the chair of the board. Congratulations, Bill!
If you’d like to join in KEDF’s efforts to “grow our own” STEM talent and bridge the gap between business and education, please let us know. We’d love to have you on our team!