FORT KNOX, Ky., April 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Army is partnering with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation's (HHF) Latinos on the Fast Track (LOFT) program to ensure Hispanic students and young professionals are aware of the educational and career opportunities in STEM fields the Army provides. The nation's shortage of qualified workers with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) has drawn significant attention as a matter of national security, including in a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences.
The HHF LOFT program is designed to promote education, leadership and career opportunities within the science, technology, engineering and math fields to high achieving Hispanic students across the United States. As part of the Army's ongoing partnership with HHF, the Army will co-host seven HHF LOFT STEM Leadership Seminars this year on college campuses across the country.
Confirmed markets and dates currently include the University of Illinois - Chicago (UIC) on April 5, San Antonio on April 18 and Santa Clara on May 3. Additional events will be conducted in the fall school semester in Los Angeles, Houston and New York.
"To ensure the ongoing success of our nation, it's imperative that we provide our young people with educational training and career development in critical science and technology based fields," said Col. Peggy Combs, Deputy Commanding General for U.S. Army Cadet Command (USACC) and Fort Knox. "The Army's partnership with HHF reflects our mutual goal of ensuring our nation's youth have the necessary resources and skills to become tomorrow's leaders, whether within the military or in the civilian workforce."
At each HHF LOFT STEM Leadership Seminar, USACC representatives will provide information on the generous educational benefits Army provides. For example, the Army's Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program offers more than $270 million in merit-based scholarships for students to attain a college education. Further, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point – rated one of the nation's top undergraduate engineering programs – provides free tuition to all cadets, who then are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army upon graduation.
Additionally, LOFT seminar attendees will learn about some of the 150 career paths available through Army service. These career paths include engineering, research and development, various medical fields and aviation operations.
STEM-related careers in the Army include civil, chemical and mechanical engineering careers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) or working with the Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) to create break-through innovations for what soldiers wear, fire, fly or drive. Both USACE and RDECOM also offer civilian career opportunities for those desiring to serve the nation as citizen soldiers in the U.S. Army Reserve or National Guard, or as a part of our Army's civilian corps. In addition, the Army offers more than 80 medical career specialties through the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD), and students can apply for various education scholarship programs.
SOURCE U.S. Army