Friday, July 29, 2011

Growing our city's technology workforce

Last night I had the pleasure of participating in a conversation about developing Los Angeles's technology workforce. The panel discussion was sponsored by GOOD and the University of Phoenix.

We spent much of the time focused on how crucial it is that our Los Angeles community get our young people excited about aspects of math, science, and technology that relate to them to raise their interest in these subjects that are so crucial to our success.

Melrose Avenue Elementary School Principal Bernadette Lucas talked about the passion for learning that she sees in her students inspired by the school's robotics program. The teachers and faculty at her school regularly seek opportunities for their students to be exposed to people who have careers that utilize math and science. Her school provides every 3rd through 5th grader with a laptop that they take home with them everyday -- just one of the many ways the school community affirms its commitment to teaching technology.

Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing and a proud UCLA alum, talked about his desire to see more people of all ages being driven in their careers by their passion, creativity and innovation rather than financial incentives.

Audience members also had excellent comments and questions, including a college student who asked what the average person could do to help. The discussion continues online here -- click through to join in.