LAKE WORTH — Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak is headlining the Palm Beach State College Foundation’s upcoming event launching a five-year initiative to increase the number of skilled professionals in science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM fields.
An hourlong Conversation with Steve Wozniak will highlight the Jan. 31, 11:30 a.m. fundraising luncheon at the Cohen Pavilion of the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Tickets will be available for $125 per person or $1,000 for a table for 10. Sponsorships opportunities are available at palmbeachstate.edu/foundation/steam.
Wozniak, a Silicon Valley icon, co-founded Apple Computer Inc. with Steve Jobs in 1976 and was the designer of Apple’s first line of products, the Apple I and II. He currently serves as chief scientist for Fusion-io, a global data storage and delivery firm. Known as “The Woz,” he is internationally recognized as an inventor, scientist, innovator and philanthropist strongly committed to the arts.
The College Foundation’s plans include the arts, which so dramatically contribute to technology’s design, resulting in the STEAM initiative. Organizers say the launch event will underscore the importance of college-wide efforts and the expected outcomes of the STEAM initiative for the community.
Palm Beach State offers numerous STEM-related degree and certificate programs, including such fields as biotechnology, alternative energy and information technology. It houses the statewide, nationally recognized Employ Florida Banner Center for Life Sciences, along with extensive art and design, performing arts, media and communications programs.
“At the local, state and national level, STEM-related industries have been identified as key growth engines to expand and diversify our economic base. These industries look to higher education to provide the skilled professionals who can fill high-demand, high-tech roles,” said Dennis P. Gallon, PBSC president. “With this initiative, we are focused on meeting that challenge and providing the best career prospects and growth opportunities for local residents.”
“We are thrilled to present Steve Wozniak,” said Yvonne S. Boice, event chair. “He has shaped the computer world for future generations and continues to advocate for the advancement of technological infrastructure needed to support U.S. world competitiveness. He also is recognized for his dedication to education and annually underwrites technology usage for his hometown K-12 school district.”
“The STEAM goals are to provide 1,000 new scholarship awards, create 50 academic program enhancements and generate 100 new business-college partnerships with 50 new internship opportunities,” said Suellen Mann, executive director of the Palm Beach State College Foundation. “By accomplishing these goals the college will play a vital role in the building of America’s future, and no one is a better amalgamation of science, technology and arts than Steve Wozniak.”