Pathways to high-quality, high-paying STEM jobs are inaccessible to many. Growth Sector is changing this reality by creating broader awareness of opportunities in STEM and putting students of all backgrounds on the road to earning the degrees required to be competitive in the field.
In 2003, amid layoffs across the airline industry in the wake of 9/11, David Gruber and Caz Pereira developed an initiative to retrain airplane mechanics for jobs in biotech manufacturing. Begun in partnership with United Airlines, Genentech, and two Bay Area counties, the effort expanded to include 11 biotech employers and won the U.S. Department of Labor’s Recognition of Excellence Award.
With the same drive to match diverse talent with high-wage, high-growth positions in engineering and computer science, Gruber and Pereira co-founded Growth Sector in 2008. Our model centers around community colleges, a system of 6.8 million students nationally, the majority of whom enter underprepared in math. By following the STEM Core, our structured, accelerated course plan, students advance beyond calculus at 12 times the rate of their peers.
Through the generous support of government and philanthropy, the model has now been implemented at 35+ community colleges and high schools reaching thousands of students across the country. Several employer partners—companies like Lawrence Livermore National Lab, NASA Goddard, and Tesla—have adapted our approach in their own recruitment strategies.