Corning’s partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities like North Carolina A&T State University support diversity in STEM.
If there are any misconceptions about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Ibraheem Muhammad wants to squash them. Muhammad graduated from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University (NC A&T), the largest HBCU in the U.S., in 2013, just before Corning snatched him up as a young engineer.
“NC A&T and other HBCUs do not always get their due credit for fostering amazing talent,” said Muhammad, melting and forming process leader at Corning’s plant in Vineland, New Jersey.
By welcoming fellow NC A&T grads into Corning, he’s helping to change that perception.
While Muhammad has made it his personal mission to mentor NC A&T grads, it's also an interest that Corning made official earlier this year by partnering with the university. Along with a $5.5 million scholarship grant covering the next five years, Corning is putting an official mentorship program in place for students in the fall. Corning also wants to increase the number of Black engineering and business students hired from NC A&T to at least eight per year by 2025.
The motion not only creates a talent pipeline for brilliant, yet marginalized professionals, it also aligns with Corning’s drive for greater diversity.
“Corning’s investment in a HBCU highlights the value of the education you get from that school,” Muhammad said.
The NC A&T partnership is just one of the reasons why Corning was recently named “Top Supporter” of HBCUs for the 19th consecutive year.
The “Top Supporter” recognition comes from Career Communications Group, Inc., which surveys the deans of 15 HBCU engineering programs and the corporate-academic alliance, Advancing Minorities' Interest in Engineering. The survey is conducted by US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine.
When listing their top supporters, deans consider support for their schools’ modernization and enhancement, research, participation on advisory councils, faculty development opportunities, scholarships, student projects, stipends, internship and co-op opportunities, and job offers related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
In his role as manager, Technical Talent Pipelining and lead, Technology Community Office of STEM, Mark Vaughn has led Corning's support of several HBCU engineering programs in their efforts to maintain their leading research, quality of faculty, relationships with government and corporations, and build a national pipeline for diverse talent. As a result, Corning has been on the top supporter list every year since its conception in 2003.