Ken White: Building the Long Island STEM Hub
by Tim Healy
Each year, countless young people leave Long Island. In fact, 67% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 say they plan to leave Long Island in the next 5 years. What can we do to stop this so-called “brain drain” and get our youth to invest in Long Island for the long term?
My guest today is Ken White, manager of educational programs at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He is also Event Coordinator of the Long Island STEM Hub, which focuses on preparing students for the Long Island workforce through enhanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experiences for students and teachers. STEM Hub’s new video series, Full STEM Ahead Long Island, is designed to teach students K-12 about the benefits of STEM.
Solving the Job Problem
The Long Island STEM Hub was first formed in 2011. Its mission? To create a solution for the lack of jobs on Long Island. A group of business leaders and academic groups around the island came together to ask certain questions. How do we create a workforce? How can we man these jobs? Stem Hub exists to get people working together to solve the problem.
The Full STEM Ahead Video Series
How was Full STEM Ahead born? Listen at 8:40 to hear the unique story of where the series came from. The idea goes back to Orange County Choppers. Ken saw how popular the show’s stars were. He thought about creating something similar to raise awareness of job opportunities on Long Island.
Long Island: A Focus on Production
Long Island has a reputation as being a service-based economy. However, as Ken talks about at 11:30, Nassau and Suffolk Counties are home to countless production environments. Driving down the Long Island Expressway, you may not notice the strong manufacturing community that can be found in places like Hauppauge and Cold Spring Harbor.
At Ken’s own company, Brookhaven National Laboratory, nearly half of all employees work in science or engineering. Brookhaven National Laboratory is a United States Department of Energy research facility. It is just one of many STEM-based facilities on Long Island
STEM Leads to Everything
Many teenagers dream of a future in television, film, or another entertainment industry. At 20:00, Ken discusses how STEM can be an asset to have in any industry, including the arts. Things like computer technology and 3D animation can be found in the arts.
Stay tuned for part 2 of my interview with Ken where we discuss exciting opportunities in the future of Long Island.
If you liked my interview with Ken, download more episodes of The Profit Express to inspire you on the road to business success.