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The Manufacturing Institute (MI), the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, recently announced a three-year partnership with Union Pacific Railroad to shrink the workforce gender gap by encouraging more women and young people to pursue modern industry careers.
The $3 million grant from UP will fund a new initiative called Careers on Track. The initiative will support workforce development and career solutions for women and will include creating a digital STEM curriculum, a virtual 3D-mapping STEM experience and a STEM micro-grant program for women, MI officials said in a press release.
The institute will also leverage existing programs, such as Heroes MAKE America, the STEP Women's Initiative and its youth engagement platform, to launch a digital campaign to bring awareness to the workforce gender gap and inspire the next generation of workers.
"There are nearly 500,000 job openings right now in manufacturing and millions more expected over the next decade, and closing the gender gap is a critical part of meeting this incredible need. That's why we are excited to work with a partner like Union Pacific that shares our vision of supporting the women's workforce of tomorrow while advancing the women's workforce of today," said MI Executive Director Carolyn Lee.
UP Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer Beth Whited said: "At Union Pacific, our goal is to double the number of women in our workforce within the next 10 years, and this partnership with the MI is a crucial step toward that goal."