Four CEO-led task forces convened by CCST to respond to the National Academies' Rising Above the Gathering Storm report delivered a strong message to Governor Schwarzenegger in December.
"California is at a crossroads, and executive decisions made in the near term will shape the future and determine whether or not we stay at the vanguard of research and discovery," said the letter to the Governor. "Unless bold action is taken now, the state will quickly face significant challenges."
The task forces were convened by CCST in response to the Governor's request. CCST was considered the appropriate organization to convene the task forces because of its ability to bring together leaders from industry, education, and the federal laboratories. The task forces were chaired by industry leaders, as industry is the driver of the state's economy, and science and technology workforce issues affect industry directly.
"California is at a crossroads, and executive decisions made in the near term will shape the future and determine whether or not we stay at the vanguard of research and discovery. Unless bold action is taken now, the state will quickly face significant challenges."
-Letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
"The National Academies' report highlighted for the nation the importance of shoring up America's science and math education and economic environment," said CCST Board Chair Karl Pister. "The strong and very productive discussions of the CCST task forces have underscored the importance of this message for California. Despite the diverse composition of the task forces, there was a surprising degree of consensus on most of the main issues."
The task forces were chaired by John Bryson, Chairman, CEO & President of Edison International; Alexis Livanos, Corporate Vice President and President of Space Technology, Northrop Grumman; Corey Goodman, President, CEO and Co-founder of Renovis, Inc.; and Larry Papay, CEO and Principal of PQR, LLC. Task force members included other members from industry, including Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr., chairman retired and director, Bechtel Group, Inc.; federal laboratories; higher education system; and practicing classroom teachers, through the California Teacher Advisory Council (Cal TAC).
"The work of each task force generated much discussion and, at the same time, enormous enthusiasm, imagination, and hope," said the letter to the Governor. "Each of us comes from the perspective that California holds a unique position in the world: a history of creativity and invention; a culturally rich and diverse population; a research and educational infrastructure that is second to none; and, leadership that strongly values the role that a robust S&T enterprise plays in enhancing the quality of life."
The task forces offered four key recommendations for the governor (see Page 2) focusing on bringing and keeping top science and technology talent to the state, and ensuring that the state develops a mechanism to keep S&T issues in the forefront of its policy considerations down the road.
"The consequences of inaction are great," concluded the task forces. "Small actions will likely achieve only small results... Whatever actions are to be taken must be of a scale large enough to have a measurable impact."