Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Trading Tech 300, Innovation and Illinois' Global Competitiveness

Back in mid-February this year, newly appointed Governor Bruce Rauner visited Chicago's 1871 to announce the creation of the new Innovate Illinois Advisory Council, which he formed to foster opportunity and increase Illinois’ global competitiveness.

I had the pleasure of attending the Governor's Innovation Day and participated in the STEM Workforce Development session. In the session all agreed that the state of Illinois needs to develop a pipeline of STEM talent and provide job opportunities for them to stay and work in Illinois. Many said we need to start earlier and target quality learning opportunities aimed at younger girls and boys in K-8th grade. Afterschool initiatives such as PLTW and FIRST Robotics were referenced, and  I shared insight from my experience with our STEM Exploring program, Trading Tech 300 and our new STEM Scouts program to be implemented this fall for girls and boys.

It's new initiatives such as our Trading Tech 300 which launched at the LaSalle Street Gala in Chicago by our visionary leader, John Lothian as A plan to make Chicago the STEM capital of the world.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Chairman & CEO (and Eagle Scout), Joe Guinan of Advantage Futures and worked with Terry Duffy, Senior VP of Business Development to begin planning a Trading Tech workshop to engage boys and girls in hands on real world learning experiences utilizing our STEM related Merit Badges and Nova Awards

It was an invigorating meeting, as these two gentlemen shared their background and some of their personal experiences with their own son's troop in the Scouting program. Terry shared how Scouts learn to earn their own way to partake in amazing high adventure experiences such as Philmont Scout Ranch (see more selling over 2,000 trees during the holiday season.

Here's a picture of Terry with his son and Troop 20 on Mount Baldy which has a 12,440 ft trek to the top. It's adult leaders and mentors like Joe and Terry that are helping today's youth become tomorrow's leaders. We are fortunate and forever grateful for the difference they have made and continue to make in the lives of our youth. 

Here's a high level overview of the new Trading Tech 300 initiative. If you or your business are interested in this opportunity, please contact 

Trading Tech 300

Executive Summary
The trading business in Chicago has evolved from a relationship-based industry to one wholly reliant on technology. Simultaneously, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) jobs are growing at 1.7 times the rate of non-STEM jobs, and the U.S. is simply not producing enough candidates to fill them.See article CNN MoneyTrading firms have a direct need for highly trained workers with STEM skills. Supporting an effort to increase STEM related education in Chicago benefits them directly by increasing the talent pool.

Program Goals:
In response to the national STEM crisis, and the Chicago youth violence crisis, the LaSalle Street trading consortium is partnering with the Boy Scouts of America to launch Trading Tech 300, which is a Career Exploring, Merit Badge and Community Service program with the following goals:
·         Develop mentoring partnerships and program sponsorships with LaSalle Street trading and technology firms to create STEM-oriented Career Exploring Posts for at-risk youth in the challenged neighborhoods of the City of Chicago.

·         Develop a volunteer recruitment, training and sponsorship program to develop needed mentors for the technology-oriented merit badge program.  Using the Career Exploring and Technology Merit Badge programs, create new units to enroll and support a minimum of 300 adult volunteers each year exponentially.

Tangible Benefits:
·         Public relations boost: Partnering with the Boy Scouts of America on this STEM education, career interest and career preparation initiative for Chicago offers them tangible rewards like a better educated worker pool and intangible rewards like a better public relations image.

·         Training: The volunteers will be trained in Youth Protection or other specified training based on engagement.
·         Career awareness: Merit Badge workshops will expose Explorers and Scouts at hosting companies.
·         The volunteers and their companies will become loyal and regular attendees and contributors to the LaSalle Street Dinner Fundraiser.

Annual STEM Recognition at Chicago LaSalle Event

Once a year the Chicago Region STEM Committee will organize and hold a STEM recognition event.  The event will honor the leaders of the companies providing the greatest number of volunteers and running the most STEM workshops, with a focus on youth impact numbers and level of support.  

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