If you’re a Central Oregon employer or HR manager looking for employees with STEM skills, then we’ve got a survey for you. There’s a local effort underway aimed at improving and increasing our pool of potential hires who have science, technology, engineering and math skills.

We’re in a bit a talent crisis, and that’s a critical concern for a region that wants to bolster its current STEM industries and encourage more of those employers to come here. But before the efforts to tackle this problem get seriously underway, employers and people in the STEM industries need to pipe up and identify what types of programs, skills and jobs are needed to prepare our students for success.

Hence the survey. Did we mention the survey? If you have 10 minutes of time, it’s definitely worth your while.

The coalition behind this effort, founders of the Central Oregon STEM Hub, are also hosting a STEM Hub Gap Assessment Focus Group Tuesday from noon to 1:30 p.m. at McMenamin’s in Bend.

They’re looking for hiring managers or employers who anticipate needing to hire employees with STEM skills in the next five to 10 years. Email Rane Johnson-Stempson at ranej@microsoft.com if you’d like to go.

So who is this coalition you ask? Well it’s led by staff from OSU-Cascades, the High Desert Museum, and the Bend Science Station. That group received a $25,000 grant last February from the Oregon Department of Education to help assess the STEM needs here and develop a regional STEM Hub.

The STEM Hub aims to create a comprehensive view of STEM education in Central Oregon, identify gaps between education and what employers need and serve as a connecting point for students, teachers and industry partners.

The ultimate vision from ODE is “a system of interconnected STEM hubs that operate at the regional level but share developing knowledge and resources at the state level, with the goal of advancing STEM literacy and career choices over time.”

Do you want to miss out on that? You do not my friend. You do not. Take the survey.