May 31, 2017
This report assesses the Appalachia Partnership Initiative's (API's) progress toward its vision of fostering a sustainable STEM education and energy and manufacturing workforce development ecosystem in the tristate Appalachia region of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia during the first years of the API: October 2014 through July 2016. Interim assessments will be conducted annually from 2016 to 2019. A final summative evaluation, forthcoming in 2020, will analyze the effect of API efforts through time.
The tristate region has a strong need for workers to fill jobs in the energy and advanced manufacturing industries, with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)–related skills in demand. Recognizing the challenge of meeting STEM workforce demands, the Chevron North America Appalachian Mountain Business Unit, along with the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, launched the API in 2014, with the Grable Foundation and Catalyst Connection becoming members shortly thereafter. Between 2014 and 2016, the API began investing in initiatives to increase awareness around STEM careers; support the acquisition of STEM-related skills among kindergarten through 12th grade (K–12) and adult students; engage industry in workforce development; and enlarge STEM-collaborative networks across 27 counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. We analyzed how aligned API programs' activities and goals were with API's vision, the locations of programs, who the program reached, the programs' sustainability, and the early steps API leaders took in developing a STEM ecosystem in the tristate Appalachia region.