"Over a quarter-million math and science teachers are needed, and it's hard to tell where the pipeline is," said Stanley Litow, head of the IBM Foundation, the Armonk, New York-based company's community service wing. "That is like a ticking time bomb not just for technology companies, but for business and the U.S. economy."
While many companies encourage their employees to tutor schoolchildren or do other things to get involved in education, IBM believes it's the first to guide workers toward switching into a teaching career.
Avast ye dogs, there be more to the story:
The company expects older workers nearing retirement to be the most likely candidates, partly because they would have more financial wherewithal to take the pay cut that becoming a teacher likely would entail.
The workers would have to get approval from their managers to participate. If selected, the employees would be allowed to take a leave of absence from the company, which includes full benefits and up to half their salary, depending on length of service.
In addition, the employees could get up to $15,000 in tuition reimbursements and stipends while they seek teaching credentials and begin student-teaching.
From then on, the IBM people would become school employees -- the program will encourage them to work in public schools but they can go private if they wish -- and leave Big Blue's payroll.
But IBM plans to offer a mentoring program that would give its former workers guidance and teaching materials over the Internet.
For you scurvey dog's who speak nary a drop of lubber this means they be takin older pirates fit for nought but a trip to Davy Jone's locker and be retrainin so's they can teach all the new cabin lads and lasses so's they can enjoy the booty that comes with a career in science and math.
Yo Ho, me hearties this be a worthy thing they do, lift yer Rum cups high and salute them or ye be walking the planks for sure.