Demonstrating its continued commitment and support of educational opportunities — particularly within our HBCU communities — Ford announced that, beginning in March, the company will author a new quarterly column that will focus on Science, Technology Engineering, Art and Mathematics, also known as STEAM, that will appear online on BlackPressUSA.com and will be available on the NNPA Newswire for all NNPA members to run in the print and digital editions of their publications.
Renah Carlisle, Sales Zone Manager for Ford’s Phoenix Region, made the announcement about the new column and delivered keynote remarks at NNPA’s 2018 Mid-Winter Conference in Las Vegas.
“In tandem with other programs and initiatives, with the launch of this new STEAM column, we’re excited to not only put a focus on an important issue impacting our youth, but to also offer one more contribution to increase awareness, consideration and participation in exciting, dynamic career opportunities available to all young people everywhere,” said Carlisle.
For over three decades, Ford has been committed to implementing and supporting initiatives that encourage and inspire young people to pursue and succeed in STEAM careers. The new column will serve to put an important and needed spotlight on career opportunities many, if not most, of today’s youth believe are out of reach for them.
“We are excited to join Ford in this important conversation about the future of our youth,” said NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin Chavis. “Across the country, our members serve as the voice and advocate for the communities they serve. The unsettling fact that every 26 seconds a student drops out of high school should be impetus enough for leaders, mentors and all who care about the future of our youth to develop a pipeline for future leaders in STEAM careers.”
Ford has enjoyed a decades-long relationship with the Black Press for more than 40 years. Since 2011, that relationship has been spotlighted through its partnership with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). Among other engagements, each year NNPA gives 10 students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities a cash scholarship in Ford’s name. These scholarships have been given of behalf of Ford for 15 years. This is especially noteworthy as Ford remains deeply committed to supporting education initiatives, especially within our HBCU communities — a commitment that spans decades.
This was most recently showcased with last year’s introduction of the inaugural Ford HBCU Drive2Greatness initiative, a nationwide contest open to all Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the county that awarded more than $300,000 in prizes to support the winning universities’ STEAM programs.
Both NNPA and Ford share a mutual commitment and support for STEAM initiatives and are excited to support innovation, differentiation and opportunities that help our youth not only “Go Further” in tech, but remind them the impossible is possible as they explore the limitless potential that is their future.
According to national data, in 2018, 8 million STEAM jobs will be available in the U.S., but the vast majority of our students will be unprepared to fill them. 51 percent of all STEAM jobs are projected to be in computer science related fields. The federal government alone needs an additional 10,000 IT and cybersecurity professionals, and the private sector – including the automotive industry — needs many more. As a 21st century society, STEAM fields are at the core of the nation’s innovation.