STEM education programs start as young as elementary school and extend through collegiate and vocational programs. Among various STEM programs are the annual elementary school science fairs which offer competitions from the school to district to state levels.
STEM programs in Texas are an important part of the state's economic development. Offering incentives for excellence in STEM related fields helps Texas to offer skilled, educated, motivated and innovative candidates to the labor pool in all industries from agriculture to computer science to energy production to aerospace. Such a labor pool has helped bring companies such as X-Cor to Texas. In addition, STEM education programs have enabled international business and scholastic partnerships, including the recently announced Texas A&M campus in Israel. Among the focus specialties planned for the Israel campus include water and irrigation technologies.
Texas A&M's National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing (NCTM) was the specific STEM program to receive Cognizant's grant. NCTM intends to use the funding to increase biotechnology programs for Texas High School students.
Cognizant is one of the companies to relocate to Texas due to its economic and taxation policies as well as skilled labor pool. It's headquarters is in College Station, TX, which is also home to the Texas A&M main campus.Cognizant has brought over 2,000 jobs to Texas with plans to expand operations that will create as many as 750 more in the near future. Cognizant has previously awarded more than $330,000 to other STEM programs in Texas.
Cognizant president Gordon Coburn stated the following regarding the award:
"We are proud to partner with Texas A&M University to inspire the next generation of technology leaders through robust STEM education programs. At Cognizant, we understand the critical role STEM education plays in preparing students to emerge as leaders in America's innovation economy, and we are committed to supporting STEM education to help the U.S. remain competitive in an increasingly global economy."
Governor Rick Perry related these words at the presentation ceremony:
"In Texas, employers don't have to worry about whether they'll have the talent and skill available to fill the jobs they're creating, because we've built a world-class workforce - including right here in College Station. By emphasizing the core subjects of science, technology, engineering and math, we can accelerate the pace of our high-tech education, expand opportunity for the young people of our state and strengthen our state's workforce of the future."