Date
Monday, September 9, 2024
Time
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Location Name
M101/102
Name
Advancing educational equity through the Louisville MSD Community Program
Track
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Description

Challenging existing barriers in the water sector, the Louisville & Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) implemented the Community Benefits Program. The MSD Community Benefits Program leverages economic, environmental, and social impacts through our large-scale construction, construction-related, professional services, and engineering projects by ensuring ratepayers benefit from MSD’s capital investment. The program encourages firms to invest in the community through a variety of ways, including workforce development, education, and economic development. These programs support job and contracting opportunities for residents of Jefferson County, as well as our firms; expand pre-apprentice and apprenticeship programs; support eco-literacy programs for youth; provide small business development growth, and so much more. In support of the program Jacobs partnered with the J.B. Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville (UofL) to sponsor the summer camp series for the underrepresented students of Jefferson County. The persistent achievement gap in STEAM education disproportionately impacts students from underserved communities, limiting their opportunities and societal progress. This partnerships’ goal align with Jacobs institutional commitment to address these gaps by advancing educational equity through STEAM education initiatives. The mission of the summer camp series is to introduce engineering to students from historically under-served populations. The UofL summer camp series focuses on introducing foundational engineering knowledge, computer coding, and civil engineering principles through fun, interactive engineering experiments. The camps expose participants to critical engineering principles like physics, chemistry, statics engineering design and planning. Through the camps students increased their interest and confidence in STEM related fields and learned how STEAM plays a critical role in their daily lives. As a 2023, 135 students have benefited from the free camps with Jacobs' financial support and volunteer hours playing a key role. Through this partnership, MSD, UofL and Jacobs are paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive pool of future water sector talent.