BOSTON, Dec. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Salsify today launched a STEM education program to help increase diversity and ensure a strong pipeline of local STEM workers from underserved schools in Boston. The local tech company is dedicated to offering early exposure in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math in order to help shape tomorrow's technology leaders and work toward closing the ever-growing skills gap in these fields.
On Dec. 9, Salsify will kick off an ongoing series of events with Boston area students, hosting more than 20 middle school students from South Boston's Oliver Hazard Perry School for a day of hands-on learning. They'll be working alongside members of Salsify's engineering, sales and marketing teams to design, build and present prototypes of their own problem-solving software. The event will culminate in a 'Shark Tank' style competition, with judges including Rory Cuddyer, the Startup Manager for the City of Boston, C.A.Webb, Partner and Co-Founder at _Underscore.VC, and Roy Chan, Co-Lead of Boston Public School's Experience Lab.
Salsify ran a successful pilot of its new educational program over the summer for 40 middle school girls with STEM-certified middle school teacher Andrea Roda. This initial experiment came out of conversations among Salsify's female employees about the gender gap in technology and how the company could contribute to solving the issue. That inaugural event was so successful for both the participants and the company that Salsify collaborated with Boston Public Schools to formalize the program and extend its reach to include any minority or underserved students throughout the city. This initiative is a long-term investment in Boston's tech community.
"There are many barriers preventing minorities and women from pursuing careers in technology. Without a varied set of experiences tapping into Boston's innovation economy, we lack perspective and we miss opportunity," said Michelle Burtchell-Spector, VP of Marketing at Salsify. "At Salsify, we are opening our doors so young students can see what's possible. While we alone can't solve the diversity in tech problem, we're dedicated to inspiring the next generation of leaders, encouraging curiosity and exploring undiscovered interests and talent,"
Said Boston's Mayor Martin J. Walsh: "I applaud Salsify's commitment to working with Boston Public Schools to increase STEM education. This innovative approach to creating a pipeline for Boston's future workforce is one way Boston's emerging tech ecosystem can help our youth reach their full potential. I look forward to collaborating with Salsify as an engaged community partner as they work to expand opportunities for our students."
"As Boston's tech community expands, it is necessary to also broaden the diversity among those working in the field," said Superintendent Tommy Chang. "Tech experts at Salsify will have a long-term impact on our students through InvestBPS, our new partner-driven platform to connect such innovative businesses to our schools. We value partnerships that enable our students to have hands-on experiences that will further develop their critical thinking skills that are ultimately necessary to pursue future STEM careers."
As the program matures, Salsify plans to expand its reach to other schools in the Boston area and include employees from other local companies who are also passionate about coaching, mentoring, and nurturing a more inclusive Boston tech community.
For more information on Salsify's first STEM program, visit: http://blog.salsify.com/our-first-try-at-improving-stem-education-in-boston
Based in Boston, Salsify's SaaS-based Product Content Management platform powers the creation, management, and syndication of product content across the distributed commerce ecosystem. Salsify transforms product content management from an administrative burden into a driver of new revenue, increased productivity, and market share growth. For more information, please visit: http://www.salsify.com.