Walmart and North Carolina A&T State University, the largest historically black university in the country, have announced a five-year initiative aimed at increasing the number of African-American college graduates who build successful careers in fields that are critical to the nation's economic future.
With a $5 million commitment from Walmart — the largest corporate investment ever received by North Carolina A&T — the Equity in Education Initiative will provide customized resources and assistance to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in business, engineering, and other professional disciplines. To that end, the initiative will deliver resources in four areas: the Black Male Initiative, which will work to strengthen Black male achievement, retention, and graduation rates; the Leadership Cohort Initiative, which will be supported by Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) and provide undergrads in the colleges of business and engineering with the skills, coaching, and connections they need to accelerate their professional careers after graduation; Advancing Blacks in Engineering, which will work to both increase the number of engineering graduates and prepare them for leadership roles within the profession; and scholarship support.
"Sixty percent of the [four hundred and fifty thousand] Black and Latinx students who graduate from college each year end up unemployed or in jobs that don't require a four-year degree. That is not acceptable," said MLT founder and CEO John Rice. "Our objective is to equip these students with the professional coaching, high performance playbook, and employer connections to ensure they land career path jobs that deliver economic mobility for them and their families."
(Image credit: North Carolina A&T State University)