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March 18, 2021

Chairwoman Johnson Introduces MSI STEM Achievement Act

(Washington, DC) – Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) along with Research and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Waltz (R-FL) introduced the MSI STEM Achievement Act. This legislation directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to compile an inventory of competitive funding programs at Federal science agencies targeted to minority serving institutions (MSIs) and recommends steps for agencies to increase the participation and the rate of success of MSIs in these programs. The bill also directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support research to better understand the challenges MSIs face, their contributions to the STEM workforce, and effective approaches to enhancing their capacity to compete for Federal STEM education and research funds. Lastly, the bill directs the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to issue policy guidance to Federal science agencies for outreach to raise awareness of funding opportunities.

“The challenges we face today demand a dramatic expansion of the STEM workforce, one that is inclusive of talented students of all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds,” said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). The way I see it, we have two possible futures: one in which we rise to the moment and leverage all of our human capital, and one in which our capacity for innovation and our standing in the world continue to erode.  I know which future I want to see happen, and I urge my colleagues to support this important legislation.”

Minorities continue to be badly underrepresented among the STEM workforce and Congress has an obligation to find solutions to increase representation in fields that are pivotal to economic competitiveness and national security,” said Ranking Member Waltz (R-FL).Over the next decade, the STEM shortage is anticipated to reach one million professionals and a stronger national commitment to increasing diversity in the STEM workforce is needed to help address this glaring skills shortage.”