A partnership between Automatic Data Processing and three local colleges was recently announced as one of six finalists for the first annual STEM Awards, sponsored by the Technology Association of Georgia and the TAG Education Collaborative.

ADP gave Augusta Technical College, Augusta State University and Paine College $600,000 in 2009 to establish the ADP Scholars Program, a scholarship and mentoring program that is open to students studying science, technology, engineering or math. ADP renewed the program this year for another three years, awarding $675,000 for the three colleges to use for more scholarships.

The program has helped more than 100 students, according to TAG Education Collaborative chief operating officer Melanie Brandt, and was selected as a finalist because of the cooperative aspect between the three schools and the program’s community-wide impact. The judges also appreciated that scholarship recipients were not only helped financially, but were also set up with mentors and advisors.

“It seems to be having the kind of impact we like to see,” Brandt said.

The STEM Awards were started as a way to provide positive recognition for institutions working to solve the “STEM crisis,” the growing need for qualified workers in science, technology, engineering and math. Brandt said Georgia will need to fill 211,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018.  read more…