- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa is launching a statewide effort to recruit mentors to encourage young women to consider careers in science and technology, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday.

The effort is part of a national campaign called Million Women Mentors. The Iowa program seeks to enlist 5,000 mentors for young women in the state over the next four years to encourage women to pursue science, technology, engineering and math, often called STEM, education. Officials said 1,500 have already signed up.

Reynolds said STEM education “continues to grow momentum across the state.” She stressed that there are good job prospects in related fields and said women should seek out those opportunities.

The program will be geared at girls aged 12 and older, and mentors will be expected to offer at least 20 hours a year in service. Some companies and universities have already pledged to participate, including Hy-Vee, Vermeer Manufacturing, the Principal Corporation, Drake University and all three of the state’s public universities.

For those interested in participating, the program is online at www.mwmia.org .

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