Governor Ralph Northam visits to promote tech jobs for youths

Governor+Ralph+Northam+visited+Chantilly+to+speak+about+expanding+tech+skills+to+the+youth+and+strengthening+STEM+in+Virginia.+He+promoted+the+Tech+Pathways+program%2C+which+is+designed+to+encourage+students+to+consider+tech-related+jobs.
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Governor Ralph Northam visits to promote tech jobs for youths

Governor Ralph Northam visited Chantilly to speak about expanding tech skills to the youth and strengthening STEM in Virginia. He promoted the Tech Pathways program, which is designed to encourage students to consider tech-related jobs.

Governor Ralph Northam visited Chantilly to speak about expanding tech skills to the youth and strengthening STEM in Virginia. He promoted the Tech Pathways program, which is designed to encourage students to consider tech-related jobs.

Governor Ralph Northam visited Chantilly to speak about expanding tech skills to the youth and strengthening STEM in Virginia. He promoted the Tech Pathways program, which is designed to encourage students to consider tech-related jobs.

Governor Ralph Northam visited Chantilly to speak about expanding tech skills to the youth and strengthening STEM in Virginia. He promoted the Tech Pathways program, which is designed to encourage students to consider tech-related jobs.

Sarah Raza, editor-in-chief

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On Sept. 10, Governor Ralph Northam’s statewide workforce development listening tour made its way to Chantilly. The school had a chance to boast its unique access to technology and its numerous STEM programs. Respected figures such as Governor Ralph Northam and FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand came to not only explore the Innovation Lab, get a taste of the computer science classes and marvel at Robotics Team 612’s work, but they also came to talk about expanding tech jobs in Virginia. Along with other esteemed professionals, they emphasized their goal of making technological aids available to every student across the state in order to better prepare them for the ever-changing workforce that is continuously venturing deeper into technological grounds.

“The global economy is moving quickly, and all of us understand the need to work collaboratively to build a diverse global talent pipeline to prepare the next generation,” Brabrand said. “There are thousands of tech jobs awaiting students; we need to make sure in the education program that we are giving exposure to those opportunities and the necessary skills so that students can be successful through our curriculum and through our teacher training.”

Chantilly was selected as the location for the kick-off of Tech Pathways, a program launched in Northern Virginia to spread tech opportunities, because the Chantilly Academy and Innovation Lab are unique features that provide key tools that can advance students in STEM and IT fields.

As part of the event, Governor Northam spoke to students and guests about the importance of not only finding a career that excites them, but also looking into the technological opportunities that surround them.

“The jobs are in areas like cybersecurity, biotechnology and data analysis. Those are the jobs of the 21st century, and we need to make sure that we listen to businesses and hear what they need us to do as far as training the youth for those jobs,” Northam said. “Even if you think you may know what you want to do, you may change your mind, and that’s a good thing. But the point is, we all need to start thinking about the future.”

Chantilly has taken the initiative of getting a head start in promoting the same goals as Tech Pathways. Through offered STEM courses and tech resources, students are introduced to an array of technical skills early on to prepare them for future careers.

“The Innovation Lab is a place where people can go during CT or after school to learn about different STEM fields such as robotics, coding, game design and more,” senior Akshay Ganta said. “[It’s] opened the doorway for a lot more students to take programming and coding classes.”

Eventually, Tech Pathways hopes to spread across all school divisions in Northern Virginia in an alignment to meet the evolving workforce demands of Virginia. According to Governor Northam, this year, Virginia ranked as the #1 state in the U.S. in which to do business. The objective is to continue expanding job growth and increasing the amount of students with some vocational skills.

“Technology is growing at a more rapid pace than ever before,” Kristie Grinnell, Global Chief Information Officer at General Dynamics Information Technology, who was one of the tech industry leaders at the ceremony, said. “When you think about the resources that we have today, it always used to be that oil is important. But now, data resource is important. We need our workforce to be there because IT is everywhere, and we need skills to do that.”

Governor Ralph Northam visited Chantilly to speak about expanding tech skills to the youth and strengthening STEM in Virginia. He promoted the Tech Pathways program, which is designed to encourage students to consider tech-related jobs.


Principal Dr. Scott Poole had the pleasure of introducing Governor Ralph Northam and his team to the numerous STEM classes within the Chantilly Academy, as well as the Innovation Lab.

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