By Andrew Sheldon
The Research and Development Council of New Jersey, in conjunction with the New Jersey Institute of Technology, hosted the third meeting for the Governor’s STEM Scholars on Feb. 6 on the NJIT campus.Anthony Cicatiello, president of the Research and Development Council, said in his council statement, “Each time I come to these conferences and listen to some of the research that’s going on, I find myself amazed by the creativity, ingenuity and innovation that we have here in the state, even among some of our younger scholars. “When we started the program, we did so because our members were concerned about the STEM pipeline here in New Jersey,” he said. “They saw the baby boomers were retiring in large numbers, that young students were leaving the state and, most importantly, a whole number of jobs that needed to be filled in the next few years.” According the Cicatiello, by 2018, the state needs to fill 269 thousand STEM jobs. “Your prospects for job opportunities are pretty good,” he said to the group of high school and college STEM students. The purpose of this event was to be a professional skills workshop for the Scholars, who primarily consist of high school students. After a presentation on networking and interview skills by Ryan Blackmore, director of Human Resources and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the students had the opportunity to network with representatives from companies including Becton Dickinson, Celgene and Johnson & Johnson. David Hodges, director of the Governor’s STEM Scholars program, said “If you’re looking to work in a STEM private sector, this state offers more options than any state in the nation.” Of 302 applications submitted to the Scholars program, 60 students were admitted. The students represent 17 of 21 counties in the state.