The BEYA Stars and Stripes Committee held a Military STEM Meeting on Thursday in the Washington D.C. metro area. Hosting the event was retired Navy Vice Adm. Walt Davis, a founding father of BEYA Stars and Stripes.The goal of BEYA Stars and Stripes is to promote excellence in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The focus of Thursday’s meeting was the STEM imperative recently announced by 100 chief executive officers.

CEOs are concerned about the rapidly growing need for employees with skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). By 2018, there is expected to be a shortage 230,000 STEM employees-which presents a strategic challenge for U.S. companies and the U.S. economy.

To explore these challenges, STEMconnector®, a leading organization for STEM education and careers, released a publication “100 CEO Leaders in STEM,” presenting 100 corporate CEO profiles including their views on the future of America’s competitiveness and the need for a STEM workforce.

The 100 CEO Leaders in STEM represent companies that have a combined revenue of over $3.27 trillion and employ over 7.59 million workers.

Speakers at Thursday’s event included Dr. James Moore, who is both program manager of the National Science Foundation’s Broadening Participation in Engineering and executive director of the Todd A, Bell Black Male Institute, Dr. Glazer, principal of Thomas Jefferson High School – Science and Technology, Mr. Jesse McCurdy, Vice Adm. Andy Winns, and Mr. Matt Bowman.

The Stars and Stripes Dinner held at the annual BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference honors active and retired African American admirals, generals, and members of the Senior Executive Service at the BEYA STEM Conference, held in February during Black History Month.

This Black History Month Tribute to the nation’s warriors is one of the popular events at the BEYA STEM Conference, attracting Fortune 500 CEO’s, service chiefs, and senior Department of Defense leaders.

Each year the host of the BEYA Stars and Stripes Dinner alternates between the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, National Guard, and the Coast Guard.

The daylong session also discussed the annual Stars and Stripes Mentoring Program and the Sustained Mentoring Program.

Since the BEYA Stars and Stripes Mentoring Session started five years ago, more than 5,000 high-performing young people in high school have had face-to-face sessions with 1,500 U.S. military Flag officers and members of the federal Senior Executive Service.

The 2016 theme for Stars and Stripes “Collaborate, Educate, Innovate” reflects this long-standing mission to help diverse students succeed in education and the digital world today.

During the 2016 BEYA weekend in Philadelphia, PA., active military officers and veterans collaborated with the city’s school district, parents, and educators to provide mentoring to select high school and college students.

The BEYA Stars and Stripes Mentoring Session also promoted the contributions of historical and modern-day leaders in STEM by distributing copies of the award-winning Black Engineer magazine to hundreds of local colleges, barbershops, and beauty salons.

The 2017 program will feature many events, including the Veterans Transition Initiative, CEO Roundtable, professional seminars and a STEM career fair. STEM students in high school, undergraduate and graduate tracks will attend as well as interns, professionals, and executives.

BEYA Stars and Stripes founding fathers are retired admirals and generals from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. They are Navy vice admiral Walter J. Davis; Army general Johnnie Wilson; Army Lt. Gen. Joe N. Ballard; Albert J. Edmonds, Lt. Gen. US Air Force; Navy vice admiral Anthony L. Winns; Marine Corps general Walter Gaskin; Army major general Ronald L. Johnson; William A. Brown Sr., SES-5 retired; and Rear Adm. Stephen W. Rochon, former director of the Executive Residence and White House Chief Usher.

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