By Dolly Rairigh Glass

Commissioner Victoria Siplin presents the 2015 STEM Proclamation to Capt. Wes Naylor.

Commissioner Victoria Siplin presents the 2015 STEM Proclamation to Capt. Wes Naylor.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is a strong advocate for Orlando’s Modeling, Simulation and Training epicenter, as well as a passionate supporter of Team Orlando. Additionally, for several years, she has issued a proclamation during the week of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) held at the Orange County Convention Center, recognizing the week as STEM week.

Although Jacobs was unable to attend this year’s conference, she was represented by Commissioner Victoria Siplin (District 6), who read and presented the 2015 STEM Proclamation to Team Orlando’s Capt. Wes Naylor, Naval Support Activity and Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division commander.

Naylor said that he walked to the middle of the I/ITSEC floor and was overwhelmed at the tremendous opportunities for the workforce, and how the interest and passion for STEM-related careers are seeded, then developed by our schools.

“We have, and serve, a very high mission with a sacred responsibility,” Naylor said, “The work we do here in Team Orlando allows the sons and daughters of our nation to go out and do the nation’s business, and return to their families when their work is done.”

“We’re in a more complex day and age,” Naylor said. “We need more intellectual capital. And we especially need to focus on producing more women in STEM-related fields.”

The nation has a need for an increasing amount of graduates to fill the positions being vacated by a generation of retiring STEM professionals. Naylor said that NAWCTSD and all of Team Orlando will depend on a steady supply of STEM graduates to continue meeting their mission requirements.