Gizmo Garden's support is focused on our home state of Maine. Why? For every new Computer Science graduate in Maine, there are roughly eight in-state open computing jobs. The Maine Department of Labor projects that computing jobs will grow 9% over the next decade, coming in slightly behind healthcare jobs (also about 9%) as the clear leaders in percentage projected growth.
In addition to needing more technically skilled workers, Maine is particularly in need of a more diverse tech workforce. Maine's technology education gender gap is significantly worse than that of the nation as a whole. In 2016, only 14% of Maine Computer Science AP exam takers were female, compared to the national average of 23%. Gizmo Garden supports the kind of creative and non-competitive educational projects that attract gender-balanced classes.
This gender education gap paves the way toward a gender pay gap in adulthood. A Maine woman working full time earns about 79¢ for every dollar the average Maine man makes. The fact that men are more likely to go into high-paying fields like computer science and engineering, a phenomenon called occupational segregation, is a “major factor behind the pay gap,” with some sources quantifying it as being responsible for 63% of the gap.