Leader Perspective: Expanding Education Access and Opportunity
By Todd Cohen, Senior Manager, HR Technical Strategic Workforce Initiatives
This fall, more than 350 new students will receive scholarships from Lockheed Martin. It’s one of the most diverse and critical skill-aligned scholarship classes I’ve seen to date. We’re thrilled to help advance the ambitions of these bright students.
As a company that employs 60,000 engineers, technologists and scientists, we see the need to have the nation’s brightest minds focused on developing innovative solutions to maintain America’s technological advantage.
So we’re doing our part to help build that talent pipeline.
We also recognize the need for skills-based, hands-on training in advanced manufacturing fields. This is why we launched the Vocational Scholarship program last year, a first-of-its-kind in the aerospace and defense industry. Our Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Scholarship was launched in 2018. Today, we have over 800 recipients combined.
The Scholarships are a philanthropic commitment by Lockheed Martin to support increased access to post-secondary pathways in STEM for students across the United States.
Whether intending to enroll in a bachelor’s degree, associate degree, or short-term credential program, our programs seek to remove financial barriers that stand in the way of post-secondary completion for high-performing students while increasing diversity in the broader STEM pipeline.
Scholarship Goals: Access and Opportunity
In the selection process, consideration is given to applicants who self-identify as members of groups that are traditionally underrepresented, including but not limited to: women; racial and ethnic minorities; individuals with a disability (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act); individuals that identify as LGBTQ; and individuals that are or will be first-generation college students.
We created eligibility requirements around fields of study that directly track to Lockheed Martin's critical skill needs. Most importantly, these scholarships are aimed at students who may otherwise lack the financial means to attend college – opening the aperture to students who might not otherwise engage with Lockheed Martin.
This year, we saw more than 7,000 applications to both the STEM and Vocational Scholarship, with strong diversity across both recipient classes.
2021 Recipients: Potential Lockheed Martin Talent Pipeline
As we look to the remainder of 2021, our focus turns to cultivating this talent pool.
Not just our 800 plus Scholarship recipients, but the more than 13,000 students who have applied to Lockheed Martin Scholarships over the past few years.
It’s our goal to keep the next generation excited about Lockheed Martin and their rewarding future career in the STEM workforce.
We’ve already seen more than 40 students across both scholarships hired into internships, apprenticeships and early-career opportunities at Lockheed Martin. Like our 2020 Vocational Scholarship recipient Brian, who is also a veteran. He’s been accepted into Lockheed Martin Space’s Software Associate Degree Program.
The 2022 Scholarships will launch in January, help us spread the word! Developing future talent is mission critical.
Todd Cohen is the senior manager of HR technical strategic workforce initiatives at Lockheed Martin's Enterprise HR Transformation business.