IBM announces partnerships with HBCUs to develop diverse workforce

IBM announces partnerships with HBCUs to develop diverse workforce

IBM has announced a partnership with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) aimed at developing a diverse and inclusive quantum computing workforce, as well as in-kind donations totaling $100 million through the IBM Skills Academy Academic Initiative to a separate cohort of HBCUs.

A multiyear collaboration of the IBM Quantum education and research initiative and HBCUs, the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center will bring together researchers and students from thirteen HBCUs and will provide the schools with access to IBM quantum computers via the cloud, educational support for students learning to use the Qiskit open source software development framework, and funding for undergraduate and graduate research. Schools participating in the program include Albany State UniversityClark Atlanta UniversityCoppin State University, Hampton University, Howard UniversityMorehouse CollegeMorgan State UniversityNorth Carolina Agricultural and Technical State UniversitySouthern UniversityTexas Southern UniversityUniversity of the Virgin IslandsVirginia Union University, and Xavier University of Louisiana.

As part of a broader effort to support HBCUs, IBM also announced that by the end of the year it would donate $100 million in technology, assets, resources, and skills development — including guest lectures, curriculum content, digital badges, software, and faculty training — through the IBM Skills Academy Academic Initiative. HBCUs participating in the initiative include Clark Atlanta University, Fayetteville State UniversityGrambling State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith UniversityNorfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, the Southern University System, Stillman CollegeVirginia State University, and West Virginia State University.

"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, IBM's chief global diversity & inclusion officer. "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."