IBM Forms Partnership with Clark Atlanta University U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Specialisterne Foundation and Other HBCUs to Tackle Talent Shortage in Cybersecurity Crisis
Atlanta (Sunday, May 29, 2022) -- Clark Atlanta University is one six Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) selected as part of new education initiatives with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Specialisterne Foundation, to provide no-cost STEM job training to U.S. military veterans, neurodivergent learners worldwide, and university students from underrepresented communities in the U.S.
These collaborations underscore IBM’s focus on providing STEM job training to traditionally underrepresented communities as part of its commitment to skill 30 million people worldwide by 2030 to create equitable, inclusive economic opportunities while also addressing a longstanding STEM job skills shortage impacting the business community.
“Clark Atlanta University (CAU) welcomes the partnership and the expanded collaboration with IBM to build a more diverse and innovative U.S. cyber workforce. This amazing opportunity prepares our students for the future in developing cutting edge technology to solve complex Cybersecurity challenges that will better protect organizations in a challenging and uncertain global security environment”, stated George T. French Jr., Ph.D., President, Clark Atlanta University.
IBM is committed to extending skills training and technology credentials to individuals from underrepresented communities and will continue to pursue new and enhanced education partnerships like these. “We believe that the most promising job candidates for today’s demanding careers will come from communities that may have been historically overlooked or excluded due to outdated hiring policies and old-fashioned credentialling,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President, IBM Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG.
“That’s why we’re uniting the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors to cultivate STEM talent from underrepresented communities to address the world’s most critical challenges.”
In recent years, the University’s Cyber-Physical Systems Department has established a competitive research and training base and Ph.D. pipeline by enhancing its computer science academic program, research faculty and infrastructure. Major research initiatives include the establishment of the Army Center of Excellence in Information Science, a DOD-Sponsored Information Security Research and Education Center (ISREC) and a Web-based Interactive Training Lab sponsored by Intel. Research projects include computer security, Data Mining, High-performance Computing, and Image Processing.
“We want Veterans to have as many pathways to employment and career success as possible," said Michael Frueh, VA’s Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits. "This is an urgent need and goes beyond hiring. This partnership will offer our Veterans a unique opportunity to obtain skills and find job opportunities across companies and industries."
“We strongly believe that hiring diverse talent increases companies’ success,” said Steen Lohse, CEO and Managing Director of Specialisterne Foundation. “Neurodivergent people across the world will have access to free, online courses from IBM SkillsBuild on disruptive technologies such as AI, cybersecurity, and cloud computing, enabling meaningful employment for neurodivergent learners.”
In 2020, Manpower Group found that the talent shortage in the U.S. has more than tripled over 10 years, with 69% of employers surveyed struggling to fill skilled positions, up from just 14% in 2010. By September 2021, there were more than 1.2 million U.S. job vacancies postings in software-related professions, according to the National Foundation for American Policy.
About IBM Education
As part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, IBM’s education portfolio takes a personalized, diverse, and deep approach to STEM career readiness. IBM’s pro bono programs range from education and support for teens at public schools and universities, to career readiness resources for aspiring professionals and job seekers. IBM believes that education is best achieved through the collaboration of the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors.
About Clark Atlanta University
Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869). Clark Atlanta University continues a 150-year legacy rooted in African-American tradition and focused on the future. Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement. CAU cultivates lifted lives that transforms the world. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing "The Black National Anthem"; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit www.cau.edu.