Governor Ivey Establishes The Alabama STEM Council

Governor Kay Ivey on Monday announced that she has signed Executive Order NO. 721 establishing the Alabama STEM Council. The council will advise state leadership on ways to improve STEM-related education, career awareness and workforce development opportunities across the state.

“Alabama has continued to grow into an advanced manufacturing, aerospace engineering and cybertechnology center of excellence and as a result, the demand for qualified labor in these sectors has skyrocketed,” Governor Ivey said. “The Alabama STEM Council will play a vital role in ensuring that our state’s future leaders have the opportunity to learn STEM-based skills that will help them transition into successful career pathways upon graduation.”

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of Alabama’s economy. As companies continue to relocate or expand in Alabama, the state must develop an adept workforce that is prepared to adequately meet growing labor demands.

Governor Ivey has appointed Dr. Neil Lamb, Vice President for Educational Outreach at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, as Chairman of the Council.

“Our great state is home to several quality STEM-focused education and workforce initiatives. However, we lack a common system to weave these initiatives together into a network that reaches all learners across the state and expands the workforce pipeline,” Dr. Neil Lamb said. “Establishing a statewide Council was a key recommendation from the Governor’s Advisory Council on Excellence on STEM, and I am thrilled to see that recommendation become reality through the Alabama STEM Council.”

Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur), who chairs the House Education Policy Committee, sponsored a bill in the 2020 Regular Legislative Session that sought to create the Alabama STEM Council as an independent state entity within the Alabama Department of Commerce. Although HB293 passed in the house with unanimous consent, it failed to advance in the Alabama Senate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m extremely pleased the governor is taking the lead with the Executive Order to form the STEM Council,” Rep. Collins said. “Having the math and science experts from Alabama set high quality standards and guiding student growth in achievement will make a positive difference. Thank you, Governor Ivey, for prioritizing education!”

Deputy Commerce Secretary Ed Castile, who also serves as the Director of the Alabama Industrial Development Training Agency, has played a substantial role in the development of the council.

“The state of Alabama is rapidly evolving in science and technology with new job opportunities developing daily that require a STEM education as a basic foundation. So, STEM education is rapidly becoming the new “basic education” that Alabama jobs require,” Deputy Commerce Secretary Ed Castile said. “With new tech companies developing, manufacturing moving to digital “smart factories” and numerous job opportunities that support these businesses, we must have a workforce that will meet the demands. The STEM Council will be crucial in working with K-12 education as they develop their STEM programs to align with Community Colleges and Universities to assist students move along the STEM pathways needed by our developing businesses. We, in the Department of Commerce are excited to assist with administrative support of the STEM Council and will be a natural link to the business and commerce of our state.”

The Council will hold an initial organizational meeting within 90 days after the issuance of this order.

Members of the council include:

Dr. Neil Lamb, Vice President for Educational Outreach, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
Dr. Charles Nash, University of Alabama System
Terry Burkle, Baldwin County Education Foundation
Dawn Morrison, Alabama State Department of Education
Charisse Stokes, Montgomery Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Vicky Karolewics, President, Wallace State Community College
Sheila Holt, AMSTI Director, University of Alabama in Huntsville
Liz Huntley, Lightfoot, Franklin & White
RaSheda Workman, Stillman College
Dr. Eric Mackey, State Superintendent of Education
Dr. Barbara Cooper, Secretary, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education
Jimmy Baker, Chancellor, Alabama Community College System
Dr. Jim Purcell, Executive Director, Alabama Commission on Higher Education
Fitzgerald Washington, Secretary, Alabama Department of Labor
Greg Canfield, Secretary, Alabama Department of Commerce
Tim McCartney, Chairman, Alabama Workforce Council
George Clark, President, Manufacture Alabama
Dr. Ken Tucker, President, University of West Alabama
Dr. Kathryn Lanier, STEM Education Outreach Director, Southern Research
Dr. Tina Miller-Way, Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Amy Templeton, President and CEO, McWane Science Center
Kay Taylor, Director of Education, U.S. Space and Rocket Center
Dr. Mary Lou Ewald, Director of Outreach, Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics
Paul Morin, Alabama SMART Foundation
Dr. Adreinne Starks, Founder and CEO, STREAM Innovations
Dr. Calvin Briggs, Founder and Director, Southern Center for Broadening Participation in STEM
Josh Laney, Director, Alabama Office of Apprenticeship
Keith Phillips, Executive Director, Alabama Technology Network
Jimmy Hull, Career and Technical Education Director, Alabama State Department of Education
Sean Stevens, Career Coach, Alabama State Department of Education
Tina Watts, Community Investor, The Boeing Company
Daryl Taylor, Vice President and General Manager, Airbus America
K-Rob Thomas, Power Delivery General Manager, Alabama Power
Dr. Lee Meadows, Associate Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dr. Tim Wick, Senior Associate Dean, School of Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dr. Robin McGill, Director of Instruction, Alabama Commission on Higher Education
Elisabeth Davis, Assistant Superintendent of the Division of Teaching and Learning, Alabama State Board of Education
Dr. Jeff Gray, Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Alabama
Dr. Cynthia McCarty, District 6 Representative, Alabama State Board of Education
Dr. Andre Harrison, Vice President, Cognia
Brenda Terry, Executive Director, Alabama Mathematics, Science, Technology, and Engineering Coalition for Education
Tammy Dunn, Program Director, A+ Education Partnership

A copy of Executive order 721 is available here.

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