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U.S. Department of Commerce grants $2 million to HBCUs

by Felix Omondi
U.S. Department of Commerce grants $2 million to HBCUs undertaking STEM curriculum

The U.S. Department of Commerce through the Minority Business Development Agency (MDBA) announced a grant almost totaling $2 million to go to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The four identified HBCUs mainly offer STEM-related courses. The grant given and the curriculum offered by the learning institution are strategically position with a report published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report forecasts that between 2012 and 2022, careers with the STEM field will grow by at least nine million.

The HBCUs given the grant will use the money towards equipping their students to become STEM entrepreneurs. In addition to that, the money will also take the institutions a long way in creating a federal research and contracting organization.

On June 28, 2018, the MBDA invited HBCUs to a discussion whose mission was to identify projects that will achieve the following:

Increase the number of entrepreneurs within the STEM fields

Increase the organizations’ chances of securing federal research and development funds

Partner up with federal laboratories and other tech organization in the country

Compete for federal contracts

The four HBCUs that got the nearly $2 Million Grant

Howard University got $359,891 that will go towards designing a technical support model for the 11 HBCUs within the mid-Atlantic regions and make them be at a better position to compete for Federal research and development funds. At the same time leverage on partnerships with the Federal laboratories.
Clark Atlanta University got $449,497, which will go towards developing a STEM entrepreneurship curriculum at the three Atlanta University Center Consortium campuses in order to encourage more innovation.
Tougaloo College got $695,412 that will be used in building partnerships with various HBCUs, private firms, research institutions, and federal labs. With the aim of increasing the capacity of HBCUs to go after research and contracting opportunities with the feds.
South Caroline State University got $404,992 to establish regional training sessions for the HBCUs that will enable them to compete for Federal research and development funds


Henry Childs II, the National Director of the MBDA said, “Historically Black Colleges and Universities served as the catalyst to creating the black middle class in America and will continue to be the incubator for minority business talent, innovation, and leadership.

These important schools generate billions in economic impact annually and are engines for job creation in their local economies across the United States. These grant awards will provide seed money for these institutions to pursue innovative projects and to build more revenue-generating infrastructure to better serve our nation’s future entrepreneurs and workforce.”

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