Intel, Georgia Tech Partner to Diversify Workforce

August 4, 2015

Intel announces gift of $5 million to support Georgia Tech efforts to recruit, retain and graduate underrepresented minorities. 

In conjunction with an event at the White House Tuesday, Intel and the Georgia Institute of Technology announced an enhanced partnership to produce a more diverse, qualified workforce for the technology industry. Intel is investing $5 million in Georgia Tech over five years to build a pipeline of underrepresented engineers and computer scientists.

The Intel Diversity Scholars Program will recruit and retain underrepresented minority students to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors and prepare them for graduate school. The effort is anticipated to benefit about 1,000 students over five years through mentoring, scholarships and professional development workshops.

Earlier this year, Intel announced a new goal: to achieve full representation of underrepresented minorities and women by the year 2020 in its U.S. workforce, along with a $300 million Diversity in Technology Initiative to help build a workforce pipeline.

“Filling the tech industry pipeline with diverse students is critical to increasing the number of diverse engineers and computer scientists in the field,” said Rosalind Hudnell,  vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer at Intel. “The goal of this program is to inspire and support more women and underrepresented minorities to earn technical degrees so we can hire them down the road – we want to foster those future tech innovators.”

Georgia Tech is a leading producer of women and minority STEM graduates and graduates nearly 10 percent of all African-American Ph.D. engineers in the nation. 

“It is a national imperative that the U.S. continue to enhance the engagement of students of all backgrounds in STEM fields to create a more robust economy,” said Gary May, dean and Southern Company Chair in the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech. “The higher education and private sectors must combine forces to achieve the impact that is necessary. As a national leader in producing outstanding underrepresented engineering graduates, Georgia Tech is pleased to partner with Intel in this transformative initiative.”

The gift will expand several Georgia Tech initiatives already underway, including:

  • Summer Engineering Institute. The three-week Summer Engineering Institute hosts rising 11th- and 12th-graders from around the country. Students learn basic engineering and computer science techniques and gain hands-on experience through working in teams to solve real-world engineering problems. 
  • RISE. Retaining Inspirational Scholars in Technology and Engineering (RISE) provides financial support to talented underrepresented minority and non-traditional students. The Intel Diversity Scholars program would provide scholarships, with priority going to those whose majors align with Intel’s interests: electrical engineering, computer science and computer engineering.
  • Peer-2-Peer Mentoring. This program provides specialized guidance and support to undergraduate students majoring in STEM, while also helping them adjust to the climate and culture at Georgia Tech. Mentors and mentees develop leadership, communication and networking skills. 
  • SURE. Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering (SURE) is a 10-week research program to attract qualified minority students from across the country into graduate school in the fields of engineering and science. In addition to conducting research, participants receive mentoring from faculty and graduate students and participate in professional development and technical seminars.
  • FOCUS. This program invites college juniors and seniors from around the country to attend a three-day event designed to raise awareness of graduate education among underrepresented students. Participants learn about financial resources, visit research laboratories, network with other scholars and receive help with the graduate school application process.

These initiatives are managed through Georgia Tech's Center for Engineering Education and Diversity (CEED).

“Our partnership with Intel will enable CEED to double the number of students our programs innovatively attract, empower, and retain at every point in the STEM pipeline- precollege, undergraduate and graduate," said Felicia-Benton-Johnson, CEED program director. "In the words of Neil Armstrong, “This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” The Intel-Georgia Tech partnership is a giant step for STEM.”

The Intel and Georgia Tech program was announced in conjunction with the first-ever White House Demo Day, which celebrates the important role entrepreneurship plays in America's economy. Unlike a private-sector Demo Day, where entrepreneurs and startups pitch their ideas to funders, the new event invites innovators from around the country to "demo" their individual stories in Washington, D.C.  


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