Photo courtesy of Howard University
Today, Howard University announced that it has partnered with internet giant Google to launch its new campus Howard West, created to train and develop future Black engineers. The Howard West program provides Howard’s rising junior and senior computer science majors the opportunity to spend 12 weeks learning from senior Google engineers and Howard faculty at Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, California.
Howard West was also created to promote more diversity in the tech industry, as only 2% of Google’s employees are Black. Howard graduate and Google’s Vice President of Global Partnerships, Bonita Stewart explained, “For us, it is an opportunity to ensure that we are building a pipeline and more importantly, stimulating the right partnerships to drive change.” Stewart and Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick helped develop the framework for the program.
Google plans to eventually include all historically Black colleges and universities in the future, as it works to increase the number of Black software engineers within the company.
“I would like to see more Howard students and ultimately historically Black colleges and universities students and underrepresented minorities being hired in the tech industry and participating in more start-ups,” said Frederick. “Exposure to that environment early will pay dividends on the back end.”
This summer, 25-30 Howard juniors and seniors will participate in the three-month residency and within five years, Howard University expects 740 students to have enrolled in the program.