Governor Bill Lee has announced an initiative that focuses on increasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training in schools.

The Future Workforce Initiative is part of the governor's first-year legislative agenda for education.

“Our agenda advocates for increased access to career and technical education for K-12 students and a key part of this includes prioritizing STEM training,” said Lee. “The Future Workforce Initiative is a direct response to the emerging technology industry and making sure our students are first in line to be qualified for technology jobs.”

Lee's goal is for the initiative to put the Volunteer State in the top 25 states for job creation in the technology sector by 2022.

To do this, the initiative will have three main areas of emphasis:

1. Launching new CTE programs focused in STEM fields with 100 new middle school programs and tripling the number of STEM-designated public schools by 2022.

2 Growing the number of teachers qualified to teach work-based learning and advanced computer science courses through STEM teacher training and implementation of K-8 computer science standards.

3. Expanding postsecondary STEM opportunities in high school through increased access to dual credit, AP courses and dual-enrollment.

“58 percent of all STEM jobs created in the country are in computing but only 8 percent of graduates study computer science in college,” Lee said. “By exposing Tennessee students to computer science in their K-12 careers we are ensuring our kids have every chance to land a high-quality job.”

Gov. Lee plans to recommend a $4 million investment to implement the initiative when he presents to the legislature.

“I look forward to working closely with the legislature to ensure every student has access to a high-quality career, and to get there we’ll need to make STEM education a reality for students across Tennessee,” Lee said.