June 30, 2016


San Antonio, TX – Today, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) announced that House Democrats' updated Make It In America plan includes Congressman Joaquin Castro’s (TX-20) Supporting Afterschool STEM Act (H.R. 831). Rep. Castro’s bill would create a grant to encourage afterschool programs that bolster science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning and provide students with opportunities to learn about the fields driving job creation in America. The Make It In America plan aims to create the best conditions for American businesses to innovate, manufacture, and create jobs in the United States.

“The U.S. economy is the strongest in the world, and we must ensure it remains an innovative economic force for generations to come,” said Rep. Castro. “Under Mr. Hoyer’s leadership, House Democrats have put forward priorities backed by legislation that will help the United States develop a talented future workforce, construct a modern infrastructure, and spur manufacturing here at home. I’m proud that my bill to increase the availability of afterschool STEM education is a part of this forward-looking plan. We need a robust STEM workforce to sustain the industries of tomorrow here in the United States, and my legislation would help grow and diversify American talent in these vital areas.”

Congressman Castro’s legislation would create a grant that supports K-12 afterschool STEM programs by providing technical assistance, guidance in establishing quality standards, and professional development for afterschool educators. The grant would also assist programs that connect students with STEM mentors able to offer students real-life, professional insight into STEM industries. Programs for populations underrepresented in STEM fields and underserved populations would receive priority in the grants process.

“Closing the skills gap in America is a central focus of the new Make It In America plan, and I’m pleased to include Rep. Castro’s legislation – The Supporting Afterschool STEM Act – in the plan to help do so,” said Democratic Whip Hoyer. “Through supporting STEM after-school programs and encouraging mentorships between students and federal STEM research grantees, we can ensure that more of our students are prepared to enter STEM fields equipped with in-demand skills. I thank Rep. Castro for introducing this bill, which we will work to advance through the Make It In America plan.”

The Supporting Afterschool STEM Act is endorsed by 59 national and state groups organizations, including Girls Incorporated of San Antonio and the Texas Partnership for Out of School Time. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has also introduced a companion bill for Senate consideration.

More information about the Make It In America plan can be found here: LINK