FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2022
UNITED STATES SENATE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES RESOLUTION SUPPORTING LATINOS IN STEM
SHPE Collaborated with Senators Alex Padilla and John Cornyn and Representatives Tony Cárdenas and Maria Salazar, Emphasizing the Potential of Latinos in STEM and the Current Disparity in Graduation Rates and Career Success
(City of Industry, CA) — SHPE applauds the United States Senate for unanimously approving Senate Resolution 640, which expresses “support to increase the number of Latino students and young professionals entering careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.” The bipartisan resolution was sponsored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) and co-sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). The House of Representatives has a companion Resolution (H.Res. 1105) pending its consideration that was introduced by Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and María Elvira Salazar (R-FL).
The resolution states that the Senate—
- supports the goal of increasing the number of Latino individuals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (in this resolution referred to as ‘‘STEM’’) as a way to promote economic empowerment and sustainability, not only in their community but in the overall economy of the United States;
- supports increasing the representation of Latino individuals in STEM fields to enhance and improve representation and improve performance in the STEM workforce, which will help—
- develop talented and capable STEM workers;
- reduce the dependence of the economy of the United States on foreign workers; and
- secure the future of the United States as a leader in STEM;
- encourages increased Federal support for initiatives aimed at boosting the number of Latino students who pursue STEM education and career paths, particularly engineering; and
- recognizes the important role that Hispanic Serving Institutions and all colleges and universities must play in order to achieve this goal of increasing Latino individuals in STEM.
“SHPE is incredibly grateful to Senators Padilla and Cornyn, for their leadership and for considering our ideas as they worked to secure Senate passage of this important resolution. Their commitment to the success of Hispanics in STEM will move our nation forward and improve the lives of all Americans,” said SHPE CEO Chris Wilkie. “Coupled with the pending House Resolution introduced by our champions, Reps. Cardenas and Salazar, official statements, like this one, made at the federal level, will not only drive competition and innovation in the STEM industry, but will also have a positive effect on this important demographic for generations to come.”
“Our collective prosperity depends on expanding opportunities for all students – from every background – to study and succeed in the critical science, technology, engineering and math fields,” said James Brown, Executive Director of the STEM Education Coalition. “We applaud Senators Padilla and Cornyn for getting the Senate to make a clear, bipartisan statement about the importance of increasing the number of Latinos in STEM fields. We share the belief that Congress must step up and deliver on this important national imperative.”
Working with Congressional champions on the introduction and passage of a Congressional resolution is a part of an overall strategy SHPE began in late 2021 to ensure that it is actively involved at the federal level. “In the last few years, it has become more and more apparent that we need to be in the rooms where decisions are made.” Wilkie explains.
“The immediate recognition of the need for this Resolution by its sponsors and the fact that the U.S. Senate adopted it unanimously goes to show how critical the need is for Hispanics in STEM.” states Wilkie. “I can’t wait until the incredible gifts, brilliant minds, and innovative solutions of the Hispanic community are known, sought-after, and appreciated around the country. This is truly something we can ALL get behind.”
SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) is a nonprofit organization serving and advancing Hispanics in STEM. With more than 13,000 student and professional members, SHPE’s mission is to change lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and development. For more information, please visit https://www.shpe.org/
CEO Chris Wilkie is available for interviews.
Contact: Jen Linck