By: M. Swift
Tech giant Google will team up with Howard University to train students on its campus. The initiative is called “Howard West,” according to USA Today and also seeks to be a gateway for Black STEM majors in a field that has proven hard to get into.
The partnership looks to be Google’s attempt at diversifying Silicon Valley and bring more Black engineers and developers into its company and the tech industry in general. Howard West kicks off this summer with the opportunity to train on Google’s Mountain View campus featuring 25 to 30 Howard University students studying in the science field.
Google and other tech companies have had trouble on the diversity front for years. As it stands, the industry is mostly White and mostly male with Asian engineers and developers making up the bulk of the non-White workforce. Black engineers and developers make up roughly 1-percent of Google’s workers.
The company plans to scout and recruit from HBCUs. This is a good sign as degrees in STEM are on the rise in Black institutes. This means internships and job opportunities will be sought. It was through the company’s Google in Residence program that Google found learned about the talent mine HBCUs could be. While great for Google, the company also learned how difficult it is for Black graduates to break into the tech field.
Google plans to set up similar programs with other HBCUs. The company will also bring in Latinx students from HBCUs, working off of previous programs to do so. While there are other companies working on their diversity issues, time will tell if this will have a snowball effect of tech companies taking a more active approach in training and recruiting unrepresented groups for the industry.
M. Swift primarily writes on moments and important figures in Black history for Your Black World. He also writes heavily on wrestling, comics, gaming, and Black sci-fi and fantasy.