News Release

Finalists of Community College Innovation Challenge to discuss STEM career paths with National Science Board

June 11, 2018

Tomorrow, the National Science Board (NSB) will hold a “listening session” at the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC) Boot Camp. NSB members will hear from students and faculty about their experiences and views, related to the skilled technical workforce (STW), made up of individuals who use science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) knowledge and skills in their jobs but who do not have a bachelor’s degree.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to sit down with students from across the country and hear about the opportunities and challenges that have led them to compete in the CCIC and excel in their STEM fields,” said Diane Souvaine, NSB Chair and Professor of Computer Science at Tufts University. “These students and faculty will help inform the NSB’s understanding of the role that community college education can play in the development of a stronger, national skilled technical workforce.” 

According to NSB’s recently published policy companion statement to Science and Engineering Indicators 2018, “the most important and defining feature of a STEM-capable U.S. workforce is that it leverages the talents of people at all education levels and in all sectors. It not only includes traditional scientists and engineers performing research in university, government, or industry labs, but also “skilled technical workers” who can install, repair, debug, and build, but who do not have four-year degrees. Though sometimes overlooked, the skilled technical workforce is large and diverse. The future of U.S. competitiveness relies on building a STEM-capable workforce.”

NSF conducts a four-day Innovation Boot Camp (June 11-14) for the ten finalist teams from this year's CCIC. The Boot Camp uses I-Corps principles and instructors alongside external communication experts to provide immersion in the thinking, skills, and tools that help transform innovation into entrepreneurship. The CCIC is an annual event in its fourth year and is sponsored by the NSF and the American Association of Community Colleges.

The NSB listening session will be held in Alexandria, Virginia on June 12, 2018. This is the third listening session the Board has held on the STW, a priority for the NSB which established its Task Force on the Skilled Technical Workforce in November 2017 to look deeper into the issue.


About NSB

The NSB and NSF’s Director jointly head the agency. The Board identifies issues critical to NSF's future and establishes its policies. The NSB also provides the President and Congress with Science and Engineering Indicators, a biennial report on U.S. progress in science and technology. Members are appointed by the President for six-year terms and are selected for their eminence in research, education and records of distinguished service.


Media Contact

Kim Silverman, National Science Board, (703) 292-4515,


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, its budget is $8.1 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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