Partnership provides skills, opportunities for students interested in growing, high-demand GIS and drone careers

LANSING —With organizations across the globe increasingly relying on location intelligence to make better decisions, careers in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are in demand more than ever. That’s why the state’s MiSTEM Network has partnered with Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) and Eastern Michigan University (EMU) to offer a unique opportunity for students to take college-level GIS courses.

“The MiSTEM Network works to ensure that students all across Michigan have access to inspiring STEM learning opportunities that not only spark creativity but help them cultivate skills for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Megan Schrauben, Executive Director of the MiSTEM Network. “These are the partnerships we hope to model and grow so students gain the necessary skills to explore career options, and employers can find the qualified STEM talent they need to fill critical job openings across our state.”

These classes provide hands-on experiences and problem-solving abilities that give high school students the skills and certifications needed for entry level positions in the emerging field of Geospatial Technologies.

“We are excited that this partnership has come to fruition and afforded our students in the district an opportunity to explore a GIS career pathway that is both sustainable and marketable,” said Dr. Willie White, Principal of Frederick Douglass Academy, a part of DPSCD.

The new partnership builds on the success of the Geospatial Technologies Talent Consortium (GTTC) working to build a Geospatial Information System (GIS) Talent Pipeline by offering courses to prepare students for technical certification and professional internships in GIS, which can start them on their path to a future career.

“The Consortium efforts and the collaboration on this internship opportunity highlights the vital need for state-wide partnerships to make a difference in the lives of students and teachers,” said Dr. Greg Johnson, Director of the Wayne Regional STEM Network (MiSTEM Region 3). “The team continues to overcome the challenges produced by the pandemic and push the needle forward to help students explore STEM education and careers.”

“As we continue to examine meaningful ways to support STEM learning opportunities, we are excited to join this effort and give our students the chance to explore and build skills that will provide them with future opportunities in a wide variety of fast-growing GIS careers,” said Chalena Beasly, Assistant Principal of DPSCD.

Students enrolled in GIS courses are exposed to data visualization and spatial analysis skills to help them analyze and assess real-world problems. They are utilized across all economic sectors including autonomous vehicle infrastructure, emergency preparedness, environmental science including climate change modeling, urban planning and more.

Employers interested in hiring an intern from this program are encouraged to contact Educational Data Systems, Inc. (EDSI) at xvaughan@edsisolutions.com or KNewton@edsisolutions.com.

To learn more about the GIS internship program and other ways the state is preparing students for careers of the future, visit www.michigan.gov/MiSTEM. G.G.