How CFF Supports the High Demand for STEM Students in San Diego County

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The Classroom of the Future Foundation (CFF) is a long-time supporter of STEM students and programs in San Diego County—which is a thriving region located in Southern California that is home to a diverse and vibrant economy. The county is home to a number of major industries, including technology, biotechnology, healthcare, defense, and tourism, which has helped to create a strong job market and a diverse range of job opportunities.


One of the key industries driving the job market in San Diego County is STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The region has a long history of innovation and is home to a number of major research institutions and technology companies, including the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), San Diego State University (SDSU), and the San Diego Community College District. These institutions, along with the many startups and established companies in the region, have helped to create a strong demand for STEM workers.

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One of the key drivers of this demand for STEM workers is the growing importance of technology in virtually every industry. As businesses and organizations continue to rely on technology to improve efficiency, drive innovation, and stay competitive, there is a growing need for skilled workers who can design, develop, and maintain these systems. This includes roles in areas such as software development, data science, and cybersecurity.

In addition to the demand for technology-related jobs, there is also a need for STEM workers in other sectors, including healthcare, defense, and manufacturing. For example, the healthcare industry in San Diego County is a major employer, with a number of hospitals, clinics, and research institutions located in the region. These institutions rely on workers with expertise in areas such as biology, chemistry, and engineering to develop new treatments and technologies.

The defense industry is also a major contributor to the economy of San Diego County, with a number of military bases and defense contractors located in the region. These organizations need workers with expertise in areas such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science to develop and maintain military equipment and systems.


Overall, the job forecast for San Diego County is positive, with strong growth expected in the STEM sector. This growth is being driven by the increasing demand for technology and the need for workers with advanced technical skills in a variety of industries. To meet this demand, it will be important for individuals to pursue education and training in STEM fields, as well as for businesses and organizations to invest in the development of their employees’ skills.

According to the San Diego Workforce Partnership, STEM jobs in San Diego County are expected to grow by 15% between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than the overall job growth rate for the county. This growth is being driven by the increasing demand for technology and the need for workers with advanced technical skills.


Since our inception as a nonprofit in 1997—now celebrating our 25-year anniversary in the 2022-23 school year—the Classroom of the Future Foundation (CFF) has always had initiatives and grants to support STEM students, teachers, and innovative programs.

Our “Innovation in Education Awards” program began in 2004 to recognize innovative programs within San Diego County through our Innovation in Education Grant Program. The grant program currently presents a total of $25,000 to awardees, which are honored at our annual “Innovation in Education Awards” event. Four awards distinguish innovative projects that demonstrate the power and scope of ways to improve K-12 education:

INSPIRE– inspiring students to learn
INNOVATE – finding new and better ways to educate
ACHIEVE – demonstrating the results of innovations
IMPACT – doing it all, the “best in class” program for the year

To see examples of award winners in each category, we invite you to visit our Video Library with videos from 2005 to the most recent ceremony.

Founded by the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), CFF is known for uniting business, community, and educational leaders around innovation in education. Moreover, CFF is a catalyst and champion for the creation of STEM learning programs and environments that apply proven business and technology-based practices. CFF is also a trusted resource for school districts, and a thought leader on innovation in the classroom.

Together, CFF and SDCOE partner on the Middle School STEAM Lab at the Linda Vista Innovation Center to provide underserved students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the world of work. These include programs during the school year and summer school camps throughout the county.


CFF established the CFF STEM Scholarships (originally called the High Tech Academic Achievement Awards) two decades ago to help underserved students from disadvantaged areas of San Diego County with the opportunity to pursue their dreams of higher education in a STEM field. Our long-time partnership with AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) has helped us identify students in need and provide grants of up to $2,000 per student with the help of our nonprofit partners and your donations. The impact since since 1997 has been over $725,000 in STEM scholarships to help these students and their families with their college expenses.

If you’d like to support the CFF STEM Scholarship program, we invite you to make a donation or contact Jane Schlosberg, Director of Development and Operations, for more information.


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