STEMming Growth for the Future Through Proposed DFARS Rule

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed I recently finished a book on Big Data.  It was a slow read in parts, but it really hits home on the amount of data that is out there and the lack of people that will be available in the near future to process and analyze it in a meaningful way.

farmatrix-banner-01In fact, the book says by 2018 the “United States alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts to analyze big data and make decisions based on their findings.”  The onus is really on businesses to promote personal growth of the existing workforce to face the 1.5 million shortage.  (According to the book this shortfall can be addressed by simply encouraging statistics, mathematics, and/or data analysis courses for current employees).  The rest of the problem is at the school level and it seems that the Government may be moving in the direction of “deep analytical skills” for its workforce.

[From the CCH Government Contracts Report Letter]

Proposed DFARS Rule Encourages STEM Programs

The Department of Defense has issued a proposed rule to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to implement Section 862 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which requires DOD to take steps to encourage contractors to develop science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs. STEM programs encourage the pursuit of education and experience.

Examples include:

  • enhancing undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs;
  • programming and curriculum development in elementary and secondary schools;
  • encouraging employees to volunteer in Title I schools in order to enhance STEM education and programs;
  • making personnel available to advise and assist STEM faculty at colleges and universities in the performance of STEM research and disciplines critical to DoD;
  • establishing partnerships between the offeror and historically black colleges and universities and minority institutions for the purpose of training students in the STEM disciplines;
  • awarding scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and graduate programs, and establishing cooperative work-education programs in the STEM disciplines; and
  • conducting recruitment activities at historically black STEM_logocolleges and universities and minority institutions, or offering internships or apprenticeships in the STEM disciplines.

The rule would add DFARS Subpart 226.72 and a new clause at DFARS 252.226-70XX.  Comments on the proposed rules, identified by DFARS Case 2012-D027, are due by April 29, 2013.

About Marty Herbert

With 13 years of government contract administration, analysis, finance, and audit experience, I have established a firm baseline in ethics and a specialization in government contracts that has prepared me to become a subject matter expert in my field. I am currently working on enhancing government contracts management and compliance through workflow tools and product offerings - attempting to make the process proactive as opposed to reactive.
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