Career Communications Group, Inc. (CCG) organized Thursday’s Webinar, in partnership with Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE), to correspond with the release of the 2018 Top Supporters of Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Engineering. list.
CCG, the Baltimore-based media company that produces the annual BEYA STEM Conference and publishes US Black Engineer magazine, has conducted the top supporters survey for 16 years.
Tyrone Taborn, CEO of Career Communications Group, stressed that CCG’s survey aims to look beyond recruitment relationships.
“What matters is the partners that are helping to build America’s pipeline… The Top Supporters of HBCU Engineering list is about companies that help set the table before Thanksgiving,” Taborn said.
Taborn also noted the range of employers in the 2018 survey, from small startups named to the list for the first time to multinationals who have marked 15 consecutive years on the top supporters list.
Taborn also said the survey’s methodology has been simply to ask Historically Black College and University (HBCU) engineering deans which employers give the most support. The deans vote up their supporters and members of the non-profit AMIE are also able to vote. “We then combine those votes to come up with the list,” he said.
‘Attract, educate, graduate, and place minorities in engineering’
In her opening remarks, Veronica Nelson, who has served as executive director of AMIE since last spring, presented her organization’s priorities during the Webinar briefing on the top engineering supporters.
Nelson said AMIE’s purpose is to facilitate partnerships between corporations and government agencies, and one or more of the HBCU engineering schools.
Noting that the 15 ABET-accredited HBCU engineering schools only make up less than 3 percent of the engineering schools across the United States, Nelson said HBCUs still produced 30 percent of African American engineering bachelor degree graduates annually.
“They are a rich, untapped resource pool of minority engineers,” she said.
Describing the coalition of industry, government agencies, and HBCU engineering schools, Nelson said AMIE is committed to developing programs to promote and enhance minority students pursuing engineering careers for coops, internships, and full-time opportunities at member companies.
“Our corporate and academic partnerships include scholarships, student internships, co-ops and full-time job opportunities,” Nelson said. “They also include exchange programs between engineers and faculty, student projects, student professional development, design competitions, research collaborations, corporate advisors matching college curricula with emerging technologies. It also includes equipment donation, financial donations and much more,” she said.
‘What HBCUs do for America’s workforce’
Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, who serves as Dean of the College of Engineering at Tennessee State University, spoke on the HBCU Engineering mission to increase the diversity of tomorrow’s technical workforce.
“Each of us has an institution that provides support in a number of different ways,” he said. “The university-industry model means the role that they play is investing in our institutions and programs, and hiring our outstanding graduates in a number of different areas.”
Partnerships also provide applied research for grants and contracts, internships, permanent hires, and summer programs.
“At Tennessee State University, Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, have invested funds in cybersecurity; nanosensors for chemical and biological weapons, and also support our faculty to conduct those type of research within laboratories that we have at our institutions,” Dean Hargrove said. “These partnerships are replicated with other HBCU engineering schools which have similar partnerships based on their research focus, talent, and faculty interest.”
‘Growing a diverse workforce key to national pipeline’
Mr. Oliver “Bo” Leslie, national chairman of the BEYA Alumni HBCU Initiative, said top supporters recognize that it is a win-win for their organizations, the schools, students, and the nation.
“Before my retirement from the corporate world in 2014, I spent a number of years managing a program in a major defense division, with technology transfer and intellectual capital. There was proven track record of cost-effective solutions at HBCU engineering schools,” Leslie said.
“Partnerships play an important role in business. Being a top supporter means having access to bright young students that help diversify the workforce. This is key to our national talent pipeline. ”
Derek McGowan, program manager for diversity at Lockheed Martin, a longtime supporter of the BEYA STEM Conference and AMIE, praised the partnership and said Lockheed’s leadership see it as an “intentional effort” to support HBCU engineering schools.
“We are moving from a relationship to a true partnership that helps develop and invest the talent that we seek,” he said. ‘It’s time for all of us to get involved and engaged. Let’s stop talking about how we can’t find the talent and help develop talent at HBCUs. We have been a corporate partner for years and we are seeing a banner year of recruitment.”
Top 10 companies
1.) Lockheed Martin Corporation
2.) The Boeing Company
3.) Northrop Grumman Corporation
4.) The Raytheon Company
5.) IBM (International Business Machines Corporation)
6.) Texas Instruments Inc.
7.) Google LLC
8.) General Motors Company (GM)
9.) Intel Corporation
10.) Exxon Mobil Corporation
Top 10 agencies and nonprofits
1.) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
2.) National Science Foundation (NSF)
3.) U.S. Department of Energy
4.) U.S. Department of Defense
5.) U.S. Department of the Navy
6.) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
7.) U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE)
8.) Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)
9.) U.S. Air Force Research Labs (AFRL)
10.) U.S. Department of the Army