BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Business and governmental officials say Idaho must unify statewide efforts in order to fatten the pipeline of students choosing science, technology, engineering and math careers.

Board members with Idaho's STEM Action Center met for the first time on Wednesday to begin drafting recommendations on how to improve the growing shortfall of Idaho's technological workforce. Idaho lawmakers approved setting aside $650,000 earlier this year to create the center.

The push came after Republicans state Sen. Bob Nonini from Coeur d'Alene and Rep. Reed DeMordaunt from Eagle formed a STEM caucus in the Legislature, which quickly attracted more than two dozen lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Department of Labor Director Ken Edmunds says Idaho's demand for technological employees is nearly twice as high compared to the national average.