Beacon Health Boosts STEM Partnership

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Beacon Health System in South Bend has given $150,000 to support a partnership between Indianapolis-based Project Lead The Way Inc. and the Corporate Partnership for Economic Growth. The organizations say the funding will provide grants to Elkhart and St. Joseph County high schools for biomedical science programs. March 10, 2014

News Release

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Beacon Health System and Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the nation's leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, announced a grant partnership this week as part of the recently announced five-county regional initiative with the Corporate Partnership for Economic Growth (CPEG).

The $150,000 grant from Beacon Health System will provide grants to eligible Elkhart and St. Joseph county high schools implementing PLTW Biomedical Science through the CPEG regional initiative, which provides all K-12 schools in Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, Marshall, and St. Joseph counties the opportunity to apply for grant funds to implement new PLTW programs. The partnership between Beacon Health System and PLTW will give more Elkhart and St. Joseph County high school students access to courses in the biomedical sciences, preparing them for jobs and careers like those at Beacon Health System. The partnership will support 15 grants designed to offset the cost of teacher training, participation fees, and required equipment for PLTW Biomedical Science. This grant will be available to schools for the 2014-15 school year through 2016. Schools in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties will be considered for this funding through their application for the CPEG Northern Indiana Grant. Applications are due March 31, and schools will be accepted and notified in April.

"Project Lead The Way is grateful to Beacon Health System for its commitment to building the STEM pipeline through the support of PLTW Biomedical Science programs," said PLTW president and CEO, Vince Bertram. "The type of collaboration occurring in Northern Indiana is unprecedented, but essential, for economic growth and workforce development."

"As the largest employer in the region, we depend on a talented and well educated workforce, especially those with a solid background in STEM education," says Philip Newbold, CEO of Beacon Health System. "We are pleased to be able to support so many schools that are providing education in the Biomedical Sciences, and look forward to many of these graduates staying in our region with high paying careers."

PLTW is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Indianapolis, providing STEM programs and high-quality teacher professional development to more than 5,000 schools across the United States, including 345 schools in Indiana. PLTW's five programs include PLTW LaunchTM for grades K-5, PLTW GatewayTM for students in grades 6-8, and PLTW EngineeringTM, PLTW Biomedical ScienceTM, and PLTW Computer ScienceTM for high school students. By aligning with PLTW, Beacon Health Service is able to offer more students access to the rigorous STEM programs that will prepare Northern Indiana students for the global economy.

STEM jobs are growing at a rate of 18 percent, nearly twice the rate of other fields. By 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates 1.2 million unfilled jobs in STEM fields due to a widening skills gap. In Indiana, 123,000 new STEM jobs will exist by 2018, the majority of which will be computer and mathematical scientists, engineers, and engineering technicians. STEM jobs are among the country's highest paying jobs.

About PLTW

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the nation's leading provider of STEM programs. PLTW's world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate partners, help students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. More than 5,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit www.pltw.org.

About Beacon Health System

Beacon Health System is the nonprofit parent organization of Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend, providing world-class care throughout North Central Indiana and Southwestern Michigan. Beacon Health System is also a research and education organization, guiding clinical research trials for a variety of illnesses and helping train medical residents in the fields of family medicine and hospital pharmacy. Beacon Health System's many notable medical and community programs provide world-class, high-quality, locally-owned care and education. Included among their critical and award-winning services are: Northern Indiana's only designated children's hospital, Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence at Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend, and a cardiac surgery program designated as one of America's 100 Best from HealthGrades, Inc. For more information, visit www.beaconhealthsystem.org.

Source: Project Lead The Way