IBM Partners With HBCUs As Part of $100M Initiative to Diversify Tech Workforce
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IBM Partners With HBCUs As Part of $100M Initiative to Diversify Tech Workforce

The tech industry is tapping tomorrow’s future leaders for a powerful plan to innovate the space for all.

Last week, Computer hardware company IBM (International Business Machines) announced a joint educational partnership with esteemed schools such as Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University for their new innovative plan of action.

In an effort to develop its first Quantum education and research initiative for HBCUs, IBM has pledged a $100 million investment aimed toward driving more diversity and inclusion in the tech workforce, a press release reports.

“We believe that in order to expand opportunity for diverse populations, we need a diverse talent pipeline of the next generation of tech leaders from HBCUs,” said Carla Grant Pickens, Chief Global Diversity & Inclusion Officer at IBM, in a statement. “Diversity and inclusion is what fuels innovation and students from HBCUs will be positioned to play a significant part of what will drive innovations for the future like quantum computing, cloud and artificial intelligence.”

The IBM-HBCU Quantum Center — a multi-year investment diversity program — was designed by the tech giant to help prepare and groom talented students at HBCUs from all STEM disciplines for the quantum future.

A news release states the company’s large investment will reportedly go toward technology, assets, resources, and skills development for the newly-announced partnership through the IBM Skills Academy Academic Initiative.

According to Westfair Communications, IBM plans to collaborate with additional HBCUs to focus on supporting and funding research opportunities, curriculum development, workforce advocacy, and special projects for students to build up a more inclusive future for aspiring STEM workers.

“Diversity is a source of competitive advantage, essential to create a thriving quantum industry,” said Dario Gil, Director of IBM Research. “We could not be more excited about partnering with our HBCU colleagues to help educate and empower the first generation of quantum computing native students and researchers.”

In addition to Morehouse and Clark Atlanta, IBM will be partnering with 11 other HBCUs to power this initiative including Albany State University, Coppin State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morgan State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Southern University, Texas Southern University, University of the Virgin Islands, Virginia Union University, and Xavier University of Louisiana, a press release reports.

For more information on IBM’s initiative and the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, click here.