UMass Amherst College of Education Awarded Grant to Develop STEM Skills Among Unemployed Youth Not in School

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AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Education’s Center for Youth Engagement, in partnership with the Center for Applied Special Technology and YouthBuild USA, has received a four-year, $2.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation to help youth who are not in school and not employed to develop their STEM skills. 

The project is being managed by education faculty members Michael Krezmien, director of the Center for Youth Engagement, Martina Nieswandt, associate dean for research and engagement, and Karen Harrington, assistant director of the Center for Youth Engagement.

Through a web-based STEM Career Exploration and Readiness Environment (CEE), youth ages 16-24 will learn how to rebuild capacities that are relevant to diverse post-secondary educational/training and employment pathways, such as green construction, health care and technology. Through YouthBuild, young people will learn construction skills through building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people in their neighborhoods.

“CEE-STEM is an innovative approach to working with marginalized learners in a manner that will result in new career opportunities,” says Krezmien. “CEE-STEM will not only result in a new line of research, but it will have practical and meaningful impacts on youth and their capacity to find and maintain jobs and careers in the STEM sectors.”