BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - IBM is directing $2 million to Miles College to help prepare more black students for careers in technology.
The corporation will give the college quantum computing assets, software and other resources including access to the IBM Skills Academy.
Jarralynne Agee, Miles College Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, says the Fairfield HBCU and the corporation began talks as recently as October, but that professors are already getting training that they’ll use to teach students. And while there may be new classes and majors offered, the students will get a more immediate benefit.
“This will result in new classes but first it will result in certificates that will help make students more competitive for jobs within the digital landscape, the technology structure, federal jobs that actually look for these skills in blockchain, logistics, data sciences, A.I. (artificial intelligence),” says Agee.
Agee says Miles president Bobbie Knight has been aggressive about improving the school’s ability to give students a more technologically sound education, especially after the COVID pandemic made clear what Agee calls technological gaps.
“We’re building new labs on campus, we’re getting new computers for our faculty members, we’re getting training for our faculty now,” says Agee.
The IBM injection is part of a $100 million initiative it announced in September, involving targeted HBCUs across the country to give black students lucrative skills to compete in the tech space.