Rep. Lucas worries about skill gap with China

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Oklahoma congressman Frank Lucas wants to make sure the U.S. takes more steps to closing the engineering and math skills gap between the U.S. and China.

As the Ranking Republican on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Rep. Lucas fired off a letter to White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Arati Prabhakar.

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In it, the congressman urged the Biden administration to ensure the Federal science, technology, engineering and math or STEM Education Strategy prioritizes closing the STEM skills gap.

The Department of Education recently released the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress Report Card with 4th and 8th-grade mathematics scores recording their largest decrease in decades. Additionally, more than two million U.S. manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030 due to the skills gap and retirement.

“America can’t stay internationally competitive without a strong STEM workforce, and that starts in the classroom. China is already dramatically outpacing us in educating and graduating STEM professionals and we can’t afford to fall any further behind,” said Ranking Member Lucas.

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“The Administration needs to take a comprehensive approach to federal stem education and workforce so we have a robust strategy in place to strengthen our domestic STEM pipeline. Rep. Kim has been a vocal supporter of developing a STEM workforce and supporting STEM jobs, and I appreciate her leadership on this issue.”

Read the full letter here.