Graduates of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields are a critical piece of the Caterpillar talent pipeline. Today, we have more than 10,000 engineers and technologists developing innovative solutions for our customers. Continuing this pace of innovation requires a sustainable pipeline of technical talent. However, the number of STEM graduates has steadily declined since 2003 and highly-skilled jobs in these fields continue to go unfilled in the U.S. - a major concern for Caterpillar.
To maintain our competitive advantage, we need access to the best STEM talent - from the U.S. and beyond our borders as well. This has been a hot topic lately, and you've likely seen many messages about immigration reform as of late. Chief Technology Officer Gwenne Henricks recently testified at the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee in support of immigration reform for highly-skilled workers. And just last week, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted to move the Immigration Innovation (I2) Act of 2013 to the Senate floor for debate.
While this legislation is critical, immigration reform is just one piece of building a sustainable engineering talent pipeline. Caterpillar still enthusiastically supports and encourages engagement in STEM careers in the U.S. as well. Gwenne Henricks reinforced this commitment at a recent industry conference hosted the by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME). Her presentation outlined how Caterpillar is addressing pipeline challenges in the U.S. through product technology and proactive outreach efforts and programs. Click here to view her comments from the conference (starting at the 49-minute mark).