WASHINGTON – Responding to the growing shortage of engineers, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) in September introduced the Strategic Technology/Engineering Program (STEP) Act of 2007 – “GI Bill style” legislation that provides incentives for young people entering the engineering profession.

The bill, H.R. 3634, creates new scholarships and loan forgiveness for engineering students working toward their P.E. license.

“Our nation needs to make much more efficient use of the available resources by recruiting students from our best and brightest high school graduates and encourage them to go on to college to become our next generation of engineers,” Cleaver said in a statement. “This legislation will help support engineering students as they complete an education for an industry that will always be in demand.”

The number of U.S. engineering graduates has steadily declined in the last two decades, according to the National Science Foundation. In addition, over 25% of the science and engineering workforce is older than 50 and expected to retire over the next 15 years.

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