Friday, January 8, 2010

Tennessee State University Among Most Admired Companies for Minorities in Research Science

The 24th Black Engineer of the Year Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Conference announced the 2010 Most Admired Companies in Research Science.  The list represents a full array of employers who are working in critical areas of U.S. health care, agriculture, education, government and industry.

This list, published for the past five years, is unique because it is a survey of the readers and editors of US Black Engineer & Information Technology, Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology, Women of Color and Science Spectrum Online magazines regarding their impressions of diversity programs at today’s top organizations. Tennessee State University was among the universities and colleges that made the list.

Despite the economic recession, many of the top companies have maintained their commitment to diversity, retention and recruitment according to the survey of professional minority research scientists, technologists and engineers.  This is in part because of the global demand for scientists and researchers who remain the backbone of knowledge-based economies. Without them we would not have the worldwide web or many other advances we take for granted in our lives, from health care to food safety, even engineering feats such as power stations or the Channel Tunnel. 

The awards come at a time when the country is facing a science and technology crisis: Baby boomers are retiring, more restrictions are being placed on immigrating students and science workers, and foreign countries are fast catching up to the United States technology lead.

The Obama Administration is attempting to reverse these trends by making science research a priority. President Obama set a goal of spending 3% of our GDP on Research and Development. According to Obama, “I believe it is not in our American character to follow – but to lead. And it is time for us to lead once again.” However, to meet these goals, 10,000 more scientists, students, postdoctoral fellows, and technicians, as well as 100,000 highly qualified math and science teachers, must be contributing to America’s scientific enterprise by 2015. 

According to Dr. Tyrone D. Taborn, the founder of the conference and publisher of US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, “This survey is important because it gives employers an insight to minority employees’ attitudes and increases their abilities to recruit outstanding scientific talent. “Recruiting women and minorities, only to see them walk out of the door within a few years is a loss of investments and opportunity.”

Retaining promising employees is just as important as recruiting them. Companies are moving beyond simply acquiring a diverse work force and calling it quits. Taborn pointed out, “Our survey shows that many employers are successfully managing, embracing, and cultivating a diverse work environment. Minority employees give their employers improved marks on managing diversity and being fair.”

“I am thrilled to present and honor the organization’s that are providing opportunities for our nation’s brightest stars,” says Taborn. “Clearly, if we are to bring on a new cohort of science talent, we must begin by recognizing and applauding those in the employer community who are actively seeking a diverse workforce of the nation’s most talented scientists, technologists and engineers.”

About the conference:
The 24th BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference has attracted top professionals and students from every part of the nation and every field of science, engineering, and technology for more than two decades. Throughout the conference, our seminars and workshops will offer new information on a variety of topics affecting multicultural technology professionals such as career advancement, diversity programs and specialized industry updates. The Career Fair will link qualified engineers, scientists, business professionals and students with employers both regional and national. The conference is sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Council of the Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine.

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