private sectors to ensure that the Activating Local Communities initiative yields sustainable results inboth the pilot cities and future innovation communities
across the country.”
“One of the biggest challenges in growing the pipeline of students in computing, especially women and
under-represented minorities, is the lack of awareness of computing careers and the need for 1.4 millionnew techno
logy jobs by 2018,” she said. “Parents don’t know, students don’t know, and community
members in at-risk areas have no idea about
the opportunities available to them.”
In part, the ALC initiative intends to provide direction to a stream of well-intentioned, STEM-focusedorganizations stepping on
toes in their haste to make a difference.
“There are so many organizations, public and private, working hard to make an impact in STEM and
computer science and for under-represented groups
mpson said, “that program
s are beingduplicated and folks are going after the same funding and competing instead of collaborating.
“There are great ideas that can be replicated that are working, but each city is different, and what is
working well in one may not work well in another. It takes a coordinated effort with a local approach tobe successful. There is so much great work happening right now, and we want to enable it to happen
better, faster, and more efficiently.”
Todd Park, U.S. chief technology officer and assistant to President Obama, was pleased to see the ALCproject gain momentum.
“In order to maintain our position as the global leader in innovation, it is crucial that this nation’s tech
industry reflect the full diversity of America itself,
” Park said. “That’s been the goal of the ‘tech inclusion’
events that the White House has sponsored, and it is hugely gratifying to see projects like the ALC
coming to fruition from that process.”
Ultimately, Johnson-Stempson said, the ALC initiative benefits all Americans.
“My hope is that cities large, small, urban, or rural in America see technology as an opportunity to growtheir economic development,” Johnson
Stempson said, “and that the great innovations in every sector
have a technology component and amazing jobs for everyone.
Every child should get the opportunity to be a producer of the next technology innovation, not just aconsumer. Every citizen needs to have computer-science understanding and skills, and I hope that alarge percentage of students will want to get a computer-science degree and help build the future of
Microsoft Research, The America21 Project, Activate Local Communities Across America Initiative, ALC,pilot, Chicago, Portland, Cambridge, White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House