In the 1980s, studies showed that of the 46 million students enrolled in America's public elementary and secondary schools, 26.7 percent were minorities. Blacks represented 16.1 percent of enrollments and Hispanics 8.0 percent.
When the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced programs to ensure an adequate supply of scientists and engineers for the future and a major effort to upgrade science education K-12, we recognized that it was important that no qualified candidates for science and engineering education are discouraged by problems related to gender, race, or ethnic background.
CCG launched the annual BEYA STEM Conference and Career Fair in 1986. Each year, BEYA puts out a call to action to federal, state and private organizations to recognize outstanding engineering and technology achievements of talented women and minorities in underrepresented communities as they continue to inspire others to pursue rewarding careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Every February, over the past 33 years, conservative estimates have put the total numbers that have attended the BEYA STEM Conference events at more than 400,000. Surveys show attendees, sponsors, and employers have given an A+ rating for career development and educational impact on groups historically underrepresented in STEM. Each BEYA STEM event has provided a bridge and call to action for supporting next-generation STEM talent in industry, government, academia, and the United States military. Year round, the BEYA STEM Conference stakeholders are actively engaged in solving national workforce challenges and help to recruit and retain scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians needed to lead American innovation, research, manufacturing, and logistics. BEYA has encouraged thousands of people to raise public understanding of science and technology, promoted the engagement of scientists and engineers in outreach and scientific literacy, contributed to the development of broad science and engineering policy and its support, encouraged the next generation of scientists and engineers, and fostered awareness of science and technology among broad segments of the population.