Bertram Sets Vision for Industry Professionals at American Society of Civil Engineers Annual Conference

MILWAUKEE (March 25, 2015) – Vince traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to welcome the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and set the stage for the 2015 Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) Conference. His message was clear: we must encourage more students to pursue STEM education and careers, and it is work we must do together.

The 7th annual AEI Conference hosted approximately 300 attendees including students, faculty, and practitioners from 28 states and three countries.

Addressing the crowd of industry leaders, Vince laid out the urgency of our nation’s STEM crisis. 

“One thing we do know for certain is there is not a shortage of human capital,” he said. “There’s a shortage of skills. There is a shortage of inspired students who want to go into these fields and are developing the necessary skills to be successful.”

Vince encouraged the group of industry leaders to join in the work by helping to inspire students.   Engaging students early in their education is key to building a supply of skilled workers, and he encouraged the audience to mentor the future generation of STEM professionals.

“Our students need you,” he said. “They need your leadership, they need to see practicing professionals. The work you do with students here is incredibly valuable in inspiring the next generation. We have to expect more from our students; they will meet us wherever we set the bar.”

Before Vince’s keynote, Dr. Hermann Viets, president of Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), opened the session with the ingredients that make Project Lead The Way successful.

“The issue of PLTW is critically important,” he said. “We are going to have a shortage of STEM graduates and STEM employees. There is no question we need more STEM graduates. We also know that PLTW, as a method, works. Getting people excited about mathematics, technology, science, engineering is critically important and can be done if we engage them with projects early on. We can show them the excitement of engineering.

He also credited the success of the mission to the structure of the organization.

“Project Lead The Way,” he said, “is very successful because of its leadership."

After Wisconsin, Vince will head to Louisville, Kentucky, for the VEX Robotics World Championship, where 800 teams and 15,000 students from the U.S. and more than two dozen other countries will compete. 

Stay current on Vince’s travels – and the latest in education and workforce development news – by following him on Twitter at @VinceBertram.