IBM Grows Talent Pool of Future Innovators Through Engineers Week 2005 Programs

Encouraging Youth to Pursue Careers in Science and Technology by Driving Influential Activities

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 23 Feb 2005: IBM today announced a series of programs to help grow the talent pool for future technical innovators. In support of Engineers Week, a global celebration of the engineering profession, the company plans to:

"Extensive work must be done to champion improvements in the U.S. education system and alter attitudes of young people toward careers in math, science and technology -- especially young women and underrepresented minorities," said Nicholas Donofrio, IBM's senior vice president of technology and manufacturing. "Our ongoing support of Engineers Week is based on a simple premise: by sending our technical leaders and innovators out into the community to talk to these children about technology, we hope to inspire a new and diverse generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers. In doing so, we're investing in the future of our company, our industry and society itself."

For the 16th consecutive year, IBM will join other companies, government agencies, and professional engineering societies in reaching out to K-12 students to increase their awareness and appreciation of engineering careers and further encourage them to continue their studies of science, math, and technology. IBM's Distinguished Engineers will promote technology careers to students who are in their formative years. Although early signs of improvement are surfacing, one of IBM's main interests is to reach out to middle school-aged girls who are under-tapped in technology and the hard sciences. IBM will also sponsor several extracurricular engineering activities during the week. Last year, more than 2,700 IBM volunteers participated in Engineers Week reaching 190,000 students.

Engineers Week, founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, is dedicated to raising public awareness of engineers' positive contributions to the quality of life. Engineers Week promotes recognition among parents, teachers and students of the importance of a technical education. By emphasizing a high level of math and science literacy, Engineers Week motivates youth to pursue engineering careers, thereby providing a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce. Each year, Engineers Week reaches thousands of school, businesses and community groups across the United States by offering programs such as Engineers Without Borders, Connecting the World to Engineering, New Faces of Engineering and Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.

In 2001, IBM was instrumental in launching a new focus on women and girls during Engineers Week entitled, "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day", which has now been incorporated as a regular feature of Engineers Week. Under the direction of IBM, organizations including Society for Women Engineers (SWE), Women in Engineering Programs and Advocates Network (WEPAN), MentorNet, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Coalition of Girls Schools, and Girl Scouts of America, collaborated to participate in Engineers Week activities focused on girls.