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STEM Accelerator

The United States is falling behind in STEM proficiency. Our country faces a great challenge in improving the capability/capacity of the U.S. STEM workforce in a globally competitive environment.

The ORAU STEM Accelerator has been created to meet this challenge.

Our mission is to develop and accelerate solutions to address U.S. STEM workforce gaps.

ORAU STEM Accelerator logo

Diverse team of research engineers working in a high tech laboratory

Impact Areas

Strengthening the nuclear S&T workforce

A top priority is to help build the nuclear science and technology workforce at the local, regional, and national levels. Recent legislative initiatives, like the Inflation Reduction Act, are aimed at steering the United States toward its ambitious decarbonization objectives. A significant share of this funding is devoted to fortifying nuclear energy's role in the nation's transition to clean energy. With more than 90% of existing nuclear plants preparing to extend their operating licenses to 80 years and the forthcoming deployment of advanced reactors, the industry faces an urgent need to ensure an ample supply of diverse and qualified workers.

In the domain of advanced reactors alone, the U.S. Department of Energy forecasts a requirement for 236,000 skilled professionals to oversee manufacturing, construction, and operation. Nevertheless, projections indicate a challenging U.S. labor market for the next decade and into the 2060s, necessitating a proactive approach by the industry to attract diverse talent. These challenges highlight the industry's struggle to secure and retain qualified personnel amid ongoing retirements, retention issues, inflation, shifting workforce demographics, and other critical variables.

Engineers in a nuclear power station

Why partner with ORAU?

Our vision is to be the nation’s leading catalyst for advancing STEM education through transformative and innovative approaches with the ultimate goal of strengthening our national economy, our global economic and technological leadership, our national security, and our quality of life through STEM.

We are looking to build a network of public and private partners that will collaborate through research and innovation to transform the U.S. STEM workforce and strengthen America’s global leadership in STEM. Our areas of emphasis include:

  • Workforce strategy and capacity building
  • Education, training, and qualifications
  • Pipeline, recruitment, placement, and retention
  • Inclusive DEIA practices
Three people working in a laboratory setting

Our goals are to:

  • Mobilize: Bring together a diverse network of public-private partners
  • Discover: Drive research and development
  • Provide solutions: Build innovative education and training solutions
  • Inform: Provide thought leadership at the local, state, regional, and national levels
A group of four people discuss research in a lab setting

ORAU STEM Accelerator cohosts conference exploring refugee resettlement and STEM education

ORAU STEM Accelerator, George Mason University, and Fairfax County Economic Development Authority recently hosted the “Refugee Resettlement and STEM Education Conference.” The conference addressed crucial questions regarding refugee and immigrant policy at the local, state, and national levels; access to higher education; and entry paths to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce.

Read the news feature

ORAU STEM Accelerator cohosts conference exploring refugee resettlement and STEM education

Contact us

For more information about ORAU STEM Accelerator, contact Liv Blackmon at olivia.blackmon@orau.org.