Pittsburgh, Pa. − January 21, 2020 − Senator Lindsey M. Williams announced today that the Allegheny Valley School District, Highlands School District, and Pittsburgh Public School District have each received $35,000 in PAsmart grant funding to expand computer science classes and teacher training.

These grants are a part of Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, which increases funding for computer science and STEM education across all grades, as well as professional development for teachers. This year’s recipients have prioritized expanding access to computer science for underrepresented and underserved students, such as students of color, low-income students, and students in rural communities.

“Technology is increasingly becoming an integral part of many jobs,” said Senator Williams. “Today’s students will need to understand and be comfortable using the computers and technology that will be a part of their workplace, whether that is a construction site, a classroom, a science lab, or anywhere they can imagine. We owe it to our students to give them every advantage in the future job market.”

According to the PA Workforce Needs Assessment 2016-2026, there will be 590,000 new and replacement jobs in Pennsylvania through 2026, with STEM jobs growing at over 9% during that time. Currently, there are over 17,000 unfilled computer science and software development jobs in Pennsylvania. Only 23% of Pennsylvania’s middle and high schools offered computer science in 2016-207; only 2.1% of Pennsylvania students took a computer science course during that time period.