The Blue Collar STEM Conference looks to help students learn about new career paths in established industries - Baltimore


Oct. 23, 2018 6:13 pm

The Blue Collar STEM Conference looks to help students learn about new career paths in established industries

In its second year, the Maryland STEM Festival event looks to provide high school students an up-close look at the jobs Baltimore employers need to fill. The November 5 event also features a daytime conference.

NET/WORK 2017 lands at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

The Maryland STEM Festival begins Friday, October 26, kicking off 17 days of programming around the state.

According to Founder Phil Rogofsky, this year’s festival is approaching 500 events, with each day of the festival offering programming from an Ag and STEM Summit on the Eastern Shore in Salisbury to a virtual tour of WBAL weather (See all events). Overall, the goal is to highlight the role of science, technology engineering and math in lots of different industries.

In Baltimore city, one of the festival’s programming-filled days taking place November 5 at the Baltimore Museum of Industry will bring a cross-section of those industries together.

That’s where the Blue Collar STEM Conference offers a daylong session providing a chance to learn about how workforces are changing, then transitions into a celebration giving high school students a chance to meet representatives from industries and companies in the city, Rogofsky said.

Jobs in areas such as IT, manufacturing, energy and construction are changing, with more positions that require technical skills but don’t necessarily require a four-year degree.

“There are a number of areas that have good paying jobs that are coming open, and these jobs are expected to grow,” Rogofsky said.

During the daytime session of the conference, representatives from companies such as McCormick, Toyota and Eaton will talk about how their workforces are changing.

“They’re the ones that can explain what they need, what opportunities are and why they’re thinking about these jobs,” said Rogofsky.

A big purpose of the conference is to raise awareness among educators, parents and others.

In its second year, the conference is adding a nighttime session at the event that’s designed to give high school students a glimpse at the opportunities. There will be a chance to meet potential employers, and learn about new jobs they may not have considered. The companies will have a chance to demo. They’ll have music and food, and organizers are setting up a scavenger hunt around the tables to help guide participants, Rogofsky said.


The event is free to attend, with registration open for the daytime portion.

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