The Workforce Development and Education (WFD) component is focusing on developing a sustainable science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce by creating a pipeline of STEM-trained students, educators, and workers, while increasing public understanding of solar energy, water, and the environment. The WFD program incorporates a coordinated “life-cycle” approach involving pre-college, undergraduate, and graduate students; teacher professional development; as well as K-12 and public outreach. WFD activities can be found here.
The Diversity component of the Nexus project is contributing to the STEM Workforce and Education program by increasing the number of underrepresented students graduating from STEM programs. The Diversity component, in collaboration with the Nexus Research and WFD teams, is building a sustainable, integrated program through enhancing knowledge and participation while increasing aptitude, advancement, and diversification of STEM enterprises for individuals, institutions, and geographic regions. Diversity activities can be found here.
Most people will stay in the state in which they earn their master’s degree or Ph.D. By serving as the catalyst for inspiring undergraduate and underrepresented students to go on to earn a graduate degree, the Solar Nexus Project is helping to keep STEM-educated professionals in Nevada. Through providing industry internships and solar energy technical training, the Solar Nexus Project is providing Nevada-based researchers and students with lifelong skills that will benefit the state. Additionally, a lot of NSF project graduates are launching high-tech startups in Nevada. In Reno, for example, there is a Silicon Valley-type area where they are doing this; it has been dubbed High-Tech Row.