Google has found a new way to diversify its workforce and it involves Howard University - Technical.ly DC

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Apr. 4, 2017 12:25 pm

Google has found a new way to diversify its workforce and it involves Howard University

Could Howard West be a model for opening the access pipeline for more diverse tech candidates?

Looking toward Howard University Hospital.

(Photo by Flickr user Ted Eytan, used under a Creative Commons license)

Black engineers make up just 1 percent of Google’s workforce. But the tech giant has found a new way to tackle this (lack of) diversity issue.

Late last month Google and Howard University announced Howard West — a new program that will see rising junior and senior computer science students at Howard University get the chance to take part in a three-month summer residency program on Google’s Mountain View campus.

“Howard West will produce hundreds of industry-ready Black computer science graduates, future leaders with the power to transform the global technology space into a stronger, more accurate reflection of the world around us,” Howard President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick said in a statement.

Howard West builds on an existing Howard/Google partnership with Google in Residence — a program via which Google engineers are embedded at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Howard University students who take part in the program will get access to west coast opportunities, class credit and a “generous” stipend. Howard hopes the program will serve 740 students within the next five years. The goal is to expand the program to other HBCUs in the future. “The program connects the geographical, academic and cultural divide between declaring a major in Computer Science and landing a job in tech,” a press release declares.

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