At AstraZeneca, we are guided by our purpose to follow the science and deliver life changing medicines for the millions of patients that rely on us. We are also deeply committed to supporting the vitality of the communities where we live and work. Delaware provides an excellent environment for AstraZeneca employees at our North America Commercial headquarters in Wilmington and manufacturing plant in Newark. Ensuring the vitality of the STEM infrastructure in Delaware is a critical priority; both as a business that is invested in innovative treatments for patients, and as a committed corporate citizen dedicated to the sustainability of the state economy.
The state of Delaware has the second largest number of STEM jobs available in the country behind Massachusetts[i]. However, filling these roles requires qualified workers, and only 16 percent of US undergraduate degrees are in a STEM field[ii]. The drop off in STEM begins early; the US Department of Education finds that by eighth grade 83% of students in the US are not proficient or not interested in STEM fields. We believe that there is no one size fits all approach to address a challenge of this scale. Rather, true progress will rely on connections and collaboration across sectors working to improve learning and development, workforce readiness and technical skill development.
One of the primary ways in which AstraZeneca is working to address STEM infrastructure in Delaware is by bringing together local community stakeholders to map out existing efforts, key challenges, and opportunities to address unmet needs. As a convener, our goal is to enable and encourage strategy development by experts and practitioners across sectors. Attendees from business and trade groups, healthcare systems and community-based nonprofits provide their insights on needed programs and establish a foundation for meaningful and impactful partnerships.
AstraZeneca also provides resources to community groups working along the learning and development continuum toward our goal of building and enabling the next generation of entrepreneurial problem solvers. The Delaware Children’s Museum encourages engagement in STEM fields as early as pre-school through interactive exhibits. Middle school students learn about careers in science through Delaware State University’s Robotics Camps. High school students participate in hands on STEM competitions at Delaware Technical College’s annual STEM EXPO. Undergraduate students at the University of Delaware develop innovative ideas to address major health challenges through the Grand Challenges Program. Collectively, these groups help to inspire continued involvement and interest in STEM fields through engaging content that supplements the school day and provides real world application.
Finally, AstraZeneca employees are engaged in building the STEM infrastructure in Delaware as volunteers and board members. Employees serve on the Board of Directors for the Delaware Bioscience Association and the Delaware Boys and Girls Club, in each case helping these organizations to achieve their mission. Employees also volunteer on a regular basis with groups across the state.
At AstraZeneca we are proud to play a part in Delaware’s efforts to prepare the next generation of leaders – as a convener, a supporter and as a community of dedicated and passionate employees. Together our progress will lead to gains in quality of life, better outcomes for patients and communities and a strong future for the state of Delaware.
Stephanie Andrzejewski Head of External Affairs, US Corporate Affairs, AstraZeneca – Bio
Stephanie oversees corporate responsibility, stakeholder engagement, and strategic philanthropy for AstraZeneca’s US business. She is also Head of Corporate Affairs for the AZ Respiratory portfolio leading a team of public affairs and communication experts. Before joining AstraZeneca, Stephanie was responsible for a number of key healthcare accounts at MSLGroup, a strategic communications and engagement company. She has experience in stakeholder mapping and engagement, building multidimensional advocacy relationships and leading cross-functional teams. She received a B.S. in Communications from Mansfield University and has professional affiliations with PRSA, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, and the Public Affairs Council.