Terri Hudkins

Headquarters, Washington, DC

(Phone: 202/ 358-1977)

RELEASE: 00-106

The Commission for the Advancement of Women and Minorities
in Science, Engineering, and Technology Development (CAWMSET)
today announced that the shortage of skilled workers in high-
tech jobs will lead to an economic crisis unless more
underrepresented individuals pursue education and careers in
science, engineering and technology. The Commission will
release its report on July 28, and today submitted its
recommendations to the House Science Committee during a hearing
on the issues.

Astronaut Eileen Collins testified on behalf of NASA, via
video teleconference from Houston, and said, “The degrees I
obtained in mathematics and science helped me to achieve my
goal of becoming an astronaut. This has allowed me to see
first-hand the importance of education in helping to achieve
one’s goals.”

“NASA also understands that we have to do our part to
inspire and encourage every segment of our population, from
every walk of life, and every color and creed, to reach out and
prepare for the opportunities for the 21st century, “Collins
added. “NASA recognizes that the future leaders of America,
even if not astronauts, scientists, or engineers, must have a
fundamental understanding of science, mathematics, and

Collins highlighted several of NASA’s education programs
and partnerships between the public, private sector, education,
industry, and non-profit groups to help fully incorporate women
and minorities in NASA’s research and technology arenas.

On April 29, 1999, NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin,
testified before the House Science Committee and stated,
“Education is the single most important issue our generation
faces today that will influence our Nation’s course for the
future. As I see it, we are rapidly approaching the day when
the primary discriminator between the “haves” and the “have-
nots” will be between those who understand technology and those
who do not.”

“I believe it is imperative for the future of our Nation,
and for NASA, to continue our push to encourage women,
minorities and persons with disabilities to pursue careers in
math, science, engineering and technology, ” he continued.

For additional information:



The Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities
in Science, Engineering, and Technology Development was
established by Congress October 14, 1998 to research and
recommend ways to improve the recruitment, retention, and
representation of women, minorities, and persons with
disabilities in science, engineering and technology education
and employment. Congresswoman Constance Morella, Chairwoman of
the House Subcommittee on Technology, authored the legislation
establishing the Commission, which has coordinated its study
and development of the Report through the National Science
Foundation. The Commission is also supported by an Interagency
Steering Committee comprised of senior officials at the federal
agencies whose missions encompass human resources in science,
engineering, and technology. Dr. Kathie Olsen, NASA Chief
Scientists, represents NASA on the Committee.

For information about CAWMSET:



Additional quotes, if needed;

“Our industry recognizes this challenge, and we plan to change
this situation.” The NASA Strategic Plan states “We involve
the educational community in our endeavors to inspire America’s
students, create learning opportunities and enlighten
inquisitive minds.”

“We achieve this through our comprehensive education program, a
national program guided by the educational agenda of each of
our 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. In addition to directly
funded education programs, we are beginning to embed education
into everything we do. We involve students and teachers
directly in real science and technology. We connect
electronically with schools giving hundreds of thousands of
students a direct link to NASA and its activities. The NASA
budget has declined continuously over the past six years. Yet,
we have managed to increase the budget level for our
educational efforts,” Goldin concluded.

In a recent message regarding the accomplishments of women at
NASA, Administrator Goldin said, “I am proud of the progress
women have made at NASA. We support the goal to significantly
increase the number of women graduating in engineering,
physical science and computer science. We will “cast the net
wider” in our ability to recruit and retain women in science,
engineering and technical fields.”