The U.S. business community is increasingly collaborating with state agencies and colleges to increase the number of graduates with backgrounds in math, science and engineering in the hopes of staving off a looming shortage of skilled workers needed to fill jobs in the technology sector. Recruiters report a surge in the number of job openings requiring a STEM background, but the U.S. still ranks below its peers in producing talent. One program -- funded by the National Science Foundation -- is pairing middle schoolers with mentors in the field in an effort to woo more into IT, engineering and related careers.

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