Building the Workforce of Tomorrow

March 18, 2021

Our future workforce and the continuation of our 95-year legacy is dependent on the next generation of doers. As we continue to drive innovation and quality, we look to those focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) as a critical component to future success.


An estimated two million jobs in STEM fields will go unfilled by 2025 due to lack of highly skilled candidates in demand. Currently, in low and middle-income communities across the United States, the education gap prevents people from gaining the skills they need to become technical workers. Caterpillar’s success is in large part because of the contributions of those who pursued STEM or technical education, and because of that we are laser focused on developing the pipeline for our future legacy. 

2 female STEM students
group of stem students

How is the Foundation helping?

Through partnerships and initiatives, the Caterpillar Foundation is creating pathways for under-served and under-resourced individuals to gain 21st century jobs through workforce readiness, vocational training and STEM education. In 2020, the Caterpillar Foundation invested more than $2.67 million in support of STEM programs that are projected to impact over three million students and teachers.

The Foundation partners with global and local organizations that are creating and cascading STEM and technical education curricula, programs and more to schools or other learning centers. These partnerships provide funding to continue the critical work to expose more students, regardless of their socioeconomic background, to STEM or vocational work.

What do these partnerships look like?

The Foundation’s partnerships range from global organizations to more localized support. We’ve highlighted a few to paint a picture of the work the Foundation is enabling.

The STEM Careers Coalition helps address the STEM workforce and inspiration gap by bringing together leaders from industry, education and government to celebrate a new approach to impacting STEM learning in the classroom. The Foundation’s support provides critical resources including a digital curriculum and a direct investment in K-12 schools.

Girl Up is a United Nations initiative that positions girls to be the changemakers in their movement for gender equality. The Foundation’s global partnership with Girl Up will help develop a new curriculum for the STEM for Social Good Bootcamps, an initiative aimed to reach hundreds of girls through in-person trainings and thousands of girls online. Learn more about our partnership with Girl Up here.

The Foundation has been investing in STEM at a local level for years.  The Foundation has partnered with Decatur, Illinois Public Schools Foundation for the last 15 years to support Operation Calculus, a summer program designed to provide math enrichment for disadvantaged minority students. Since the program’s inception, 100% of the seniors passing through the program have graduated and been accepted into a college or university. Read more about this partnership here.

Together Stronger

Investing in these partners, and many more, serves as a reminder that our future is in the hands of the students of today. We believe that it is the responsibility of industry leaders like Caterpillar to ensure that STEM education is enriched, and STEM careers are attractive to future worldbuilders. Learn more about the Caterpillar Foundation’s work.