PLTW began in 1998 in 12 high schools in upstate New York as a program designed to address the shortage of engineering students at the college level. The non-profit organization has grown to a network of almost 3,400 public middle and high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia enrolling 300,000 students. More than 500,000 students across the country have taken at least one PLTW course and over 10,000 teachers have been trained to teach PLTW courses.