The Strategic Initiative on Fostering a Skilled Technical Workforce

Summary Overview:

This strategic initiative focuses on recruitment and engagement of a diverse group of students and potential employees to fulfill workforce needs in the chemical sciences. This initiative aims to “change the message” by increasing awareness and ensuring accurate information about the range of careers within the skilled technical workforce and to build partnerships through the coordinated collaboration of the diverse network of stakeholders critical to the recruitment and preparation of the future chemical sciences skilled technical workforce.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Engage key stakeholders in addressing the need for skilled technical workers (STW) – those using science and engineering skills in their jobs, but not holding a bachelor’s degree – with a focus on the chemistry enterprise. The National Academies of Science estimate a shortfall of nearly 3.4 million STW by 2022.
  • Create increased awareness and appreciation for STW opportunities in the chemistry enterprise at the high school and two-year college levels.
  • Increase the number of STW two-year college chemical science graduates to fill the need in the chemistry enterprise, particularly industry.


  • ACS will conduct an awareness and informational campaign consisting of several components – an online toolkit of materials to communicate about STW career opportunities; chemical technical professionals speaker series; STW career workshops and programming at two-year colleges.
  • ACS will build partnerships that connect two-year colleges with companies looking to hire STW, providing project grants and selecting partnership sites.
  • ACS will support two-year college students in securing mentorship and internship experiences with companies.
  • ACS will establish a scholarship program for company employees seeking post-associate degrees to take advantage of STW opportunities.

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