DOE and its predecessor organizations have more than a sixty-year history of commitment to training and supporting scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. DOE’s role in workforce development has primarily focused upon the support of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers through research and development awards at universities and at the DOE national laboratories. Today, that role also includes supporting educational and training programs to promote science and energy literacy.
Through support of R&D activities at universities, the DOE national laboratories, and the private sector, DOE funding has enabled tens of thousands of scientists, engineers, and technicians to tackle the seminal scientific questions of the day in physics, chemistry, biology, and other areas of basic science and to make substantial contributions to our energy, environment, and national security challenges.
DOE’s 17 laboratories provide a unique opportunity for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce development. The national laboratory system offers access to leading scientists; world-class scientific user facilities and instrumentation; and large-scale, multidisciplinary research programs unavailable in universities or industry. The DOE laboratories provide a number of opportunities for science, engineering, and technology training and education, annually providing programs for over 250,000 K-12 students, 22,000 K-12 educators, 4,000 undergraduate interns, 3,000 graduate students, and 1,600 postdoctoral researchers.
The DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) leverages the expertise of its six research program offices and the unique capabilities at DOE’s laboratories to sponsor workforce training programs designed to motivate students and educators to pursue careers that will contribute to the Office of Science’s mission in discovery science and science for the national need. WDTS also partners and coordinates with other DOE program offices and other federal agencies in its workforce and STEM education efforts.