North Carolina Business Committee for Education, a statewide organization, has partnered with state leaders and businesses to form the Students@Work initiative, which exposes middle school students to real-world job scenarios and opportunities in STEM fields. Studies have shown that when middle schoolers are disengaged from education, the likelihood of dropping out increases. Major companies such as Duke Energy and EMC2 have participated in the program that allows students to job shadow and experience STEM in a hands-on environment.