Today, Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar and Congressman Tony Cardenas reintroduced their Hispanics in STEM House Resolution calling for an increased presence of Latinos in STEM fields and increased support at the federal level for initiatives aimed at accomplishing this goal.
Among its provisions, the resolution states that the House—
(1) supports the goal of increasing Latino individuals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as a way to promote economic empowerment and sustainability, not only in their community, but in the overall U.S. economy;
(2) acknowledges that, while Latino individuals have been a foundation for the United States economy, they are underrepresented in STEM fields to the detriment of these industries and the broader U.S. economy; and
(3) encourages increased Federal support for initiatives aimed at boosting the number of Latino students who pursue STEM education and career paths, particularly engineering.
“The re-introduction of the Hispanics in STEM House Resolution is a renewed commitment that underscores the vital role of the Hispanic community in shaping and cultivating a strong and skilled domestic workforce. As the fastest growing demographic in the nation, Hispanics are crucial to driving innovation and meeting the demands of key industries in the economy. SHPE is grateful for Representatives Cardenas and Salazar for taking steps to get Congress on board with our agenda” said Miguel Alemañy, SHPE CEO.
“Investing in education and workforce development is critical and having more Latinos pursuing STEM degrees will help grow our economy when it is desperately needed,” said Congresswoman Salazar. “Latinos, who are currently underrepresented in STEM fields, can and should help fill our country’s need for more highly skilled and technical workers. I am proud to co-lead this bipartisan resolution recognizing the importance of Latinos in STEM.”
“STEM education changed my life,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “I had teachers tell me that I wouldn’t be able to cut it at University of California Santa Barbara and that I should train to be a mechanic rather than aiming for a degree in engineering. I overcame that negativity and ignorance, and I am proud to have seen other San Fernando Valley trailblazers like Senator Alex Padilla and Assemblywoman Luz Rivas use their STEM educations and knowledge to lead. This is why Congresswoman Salazar and I are fighting to empower more Latinos to pursue STEM careers. Enhancing opportunities for Latinos in STEM roles will strengthen our country and build the next generation of astronauts, inventors, leaders, and more.”
The Resolution builds upon the unanimous passage of a similar Hispanics in STEM House Resolution by the U.S. Senate in May 2022 that was introduced by Senators John Cornyn and Alex Padilla.
It also notes that the Hispanic population reached 62.5 million, constituting 19% of the total U.S. population and that projections suggest this number will reach 111.2 million, representing 28% of the U.S, by 2060. While the overall number of STEM graduates has increased in recent years, Latino workers remain underrepresented in the STEM workforce, making up 18% of total employees across all occupations, but only 8% of all STEM workers.