The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Politics

June 13, 2014

Brooks wants more girls in computer science

Legislation would make computer science a core subject

EDGEWOOD, Ind. — Technology and computer skills have become a vital part of every business, and U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks would like to see more girls enrolling in computer science classes.

Brooks, R-5th District, was the featured speaker at the Females Active in Business meeting Friday at The Edge.

She is the sponsor of the Computer Science Education Act, which currently has 60 co-sponsors. She is seeking 100 co-sponsors to get the bill to the floor of the U.S. House for consideration.

“The act would add computer science as a core subject,” Brooks said. “It will allow school systems to use federal education dollars for computer science classes.”

She said most girls make career decisions by the fourth grade and not many take computer science classes.

“Businesses are having problems finding qualified workers,” Brooks said. “Some people don’t have the right skills and others can’t pass drug tests or are not reliable.”

She said the U.S. doesn’t have enough students, male or female, taking science, technology and math classes. As a result, American businesses find it tougher to compete in the global economy.

“Everyone needs technology experts in their business,” Brooks said.

This year Brooks started the “Connecting Careers to the Classroom” program, with the first session focusing on agribusiness in April.

“We’re trying to get guidance counselors familiar with the different career sectors that are available,” she said. “Our focus is on educators.

“Anderson is doing a good job through the Flagship of connecting educators and business leaders in the manufacturing sector,” Brooks added.

Concerning legislation under consideration by Congress, Brooks said there is a focus on trade issues to expand opportunities for American businesses to sell goods and services to foreign countries.

“We need a level playing field when it comes to trade,” she said.

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