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By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – STEM is one of the buzziest acronyms in education, but there’s a lot to all the talk about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  A new study finds some critical shortfalls in the Philadelphia area, but also points to some solutions.

The number of people here with a bachelor’s degree is better than the national average.

“But that, I think, masks some underlying issues — particularly as you get farther down the age spectrum and into the racial and ethnic groups that are going to comprise the growing share of the population.”

Alan Berube with the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program says blacks and Latinos around college age make up a third of our population, but just a tiny share of those STEM jobs.

The study finds unemployment is much lower in Philadelphia for those with such skills, but it’s not just people wearing labcoats to work:

“It’s people who do installation, maintenance, and repair — they’re using math and engineering on a daily basis.  It’s people who are working on the production line in advanced manufacturing facilities, where tech is part and parcel of how they make things today.”

This morning at the School of the Future in Parkside, officials from the city to the White House to Microsoft’s YouthSpark Program are talking about more ideas for a turnaround.

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