FRAMINGHAM, MA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/01/13 -- IDG's Computerworld Honors Program, honoring and documenting visionary applications of information technology moving businesses forward and benefiting society, has selected Jacobs as the recipient of the first-ever 'Engaging Youth in IT' Award.
The award for 'Engaging Youth in IT' was launched by the CIO Executive Council (Council) in partnership with Computerworld. Encouraging youth to study information technology is a focus for Council members -- chief information officers from companies worldwide -- as student enrollment in IT studies has been declining -- down 59% since 2002, according to DARPA. The award is one component of the Council's initiatives to educate and interest young people in potential IT careers.
Jacobs has been selected as the winner of the inaugural award. Based in Pasadena, Calif., Jacobs is one of the world's largest providers of technical and professional services. It is being honored for multiple interactive approaches to interest young people in all aspects of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); ranging from long-standing initiatives for K-12 students, to internships, to a four-year apprentice program, to Jacobs "STEM ambassadors" operating around the world.
"We are very proud of the work we've done at Jacobs to inspire today's youth about STEM literate careers while driving a pipeline of amazing talent into our organization around the world," said Cora Carmody, Sr. VP of IT at Jacobs. "It means a lot to us to contribute value to STEM professions and to be in the company of such outstanding organizations. I hope this recognition encourages more private sector businesses to invest the time and passion in programs at the multiple levels needed to close the skills gap."
Technology Goddesses, a program begun by Carmody in partnership with Girl Scouts of the USA, has provided programs to nearly 3,000 girls over the past decade. Skills taught through the program include leadership, email and Web, cloud, Web and desktop applications, audio visual and Web design, animation, programming and geocaching/GPS technology. Some of the "Goddesses" have grown up to join Jacobs as IT professionals. "Technology Goddesses piqued my interest in pursuing a degree in a technology related field," says Nancy White, who participated in 2002 as a 12-year-old and is now a Jacobs programmer/analyst. "The program showed me what I could create with technology. It helped me to stretch my mind and think out of the box. Technology Goddesses is what prompted me to take technology classes in high school and beyond."
"Jacobs sets an incredible example, partnering with a national organization, in this case the Girl Scouts, to provide reach and to craft and change aptitudes. And it was started by the CIO!" says Robert Urwiler, CIO of Vail Resorts, who served as a judge and helped launch the award.
The judges and the expert committee that selected the finalists for the award based their decisions on program scope, sustainability and the impact it has had on the young people who participated, the community and the company itself. Jacobs' programs were particularly prized for their broad scope. "Jacobs approached the challenge from both the demand side -- providing jobs for students and new grads -- and the supply side -- engaging kids in technology," says judge Eric Hungate, CIO of the Texas Association of School Boards.
"They were focused not just on finding people to fill jobs, but in inspiring young people to explore the wondrous possibilities of technology," adds Linda Rosen, CEO of Change the Equation, a coalition of business leaders dedicated to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning in the United States. Rosen was a member of the award finalist selection committee.
Honorable mentions for the award for 'Engaging Youth in IT' include NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, of Pasadena, Calif., and Eaton Corp. of Cleveland, Ohio.
Pamela J. Stenson, the CIO Executive Council's senior VP and general manager, believes initiatives such as this award will help inspire more companies to become part of the solution. "I commend our Council members for devoting time to developing and judging the award and I am proud that this award will be presented at the Computerworld Honors Awards Gala, a worldwide recognized program that celebrates IT initiatives benefiting businesses and society," said Stenson.
The 'Engaging Youth in IT' Award will be presented on June 3rd at the 25th annual Computerworld Honors Awards Ceremony and Gala Evening in Washington, DC.
"The 'Engaging Youth in IT' Award is a perfect complement to the Honors program," said Bob Melk, SVP, group publisher & CMO, IDG Enterprise, which includes Computerworld. "For 25 years, the program has honored thousands of technology users and innovators. Recognizing those like Jacobs with successful, systemic efforts to encourage the next generation of great minds is a terrific addition."
Additional judges included Kenneth Freeman, CIO of Webster University; Eric Hungate, CIO of the Texas Association of School Boards; Lynden Tennison, CIO of Union Pacific; and Karla Viglasky, CIO of ITT. Other members of the finalist selection committee were Maureen Biggers, assistant dean for diversity, inclusion and education at Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing; Ruthe A. Farmer, director of strategic initiatives, The National Center for Women & Information Technology; Sandee Kastrul, president of I.C. Stars; and Lee Ann Kline, president of STEM Advantage. The group was chaired by Gary Beach, publisher emeritus of CIO magazine and author of the forthcoming The U.S. Technology Skills Gap (Wiley: July 2013).
About the CIO Executive Council
CIO Executive Council is a member-led executive organization of global business leaders working to drive value from the intersection of business, information technology and strategy. Through peer reliance, collaboration and outreach, members apply the knowledge, insights and best practices of their peers to the success of their enterprises and their own personal achievement. Launched in April 2004, by the parent organization of CIO magazine, the Council is comprised of hundreds of the world's leading chief information officers. To learn more about CIO Executive Council, please visit their website at http://council.cio.com/. CIO Executive Council is part of IDG Enterprise, an International Data Group company. Company information is available at http://idgenterprise.com/.
About Computerworld Honors Program
Founded by International Data Group (IDG) in 1988, The Computerworld Honors Program is governed by the not-for-profit Computerworld Information Technology Awards Foundation. Computerworld Honors is the longest running global program to honor individuals and organizations that use information technology to promote positive social, economic and educational change. Additional information about the program and a Global Archive of past Laureate case studies and oral histories of Leadership Award recipients can be found at the Computerworld Honors website http://events.computerworld.com/2013Honors.
Computerworld is the leading source of technology news and information for IT influencers, providing peer perspective, IT leadership and business results. Computerworld's award-winning website (www.computerworld.com), publication, focused conference series, custom solutions and custom research forms the hub of the world's largest (40+ edition) global IT media network and provides opportunities for IT solutions providers to engage this audience. Computerworld leads the industry with an online audience of over 3.8 million unique, monthly visitors (Omniture, November 2012) and was recognized as the Best Website by ASBPE and TABPI in 2012. Computerworld is published by IDG Enterprise, a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading media, events and research company. Company information is available at www.idgenterprise.com.
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