Grand Rapids Community College is one of 15 colleges in the nation selected for financial support to expand computer labs and be part of an Artificial Intelligence Incubator Network program to better train students for careers in the emerging field.
GRCC was awarded a $40,000 grant from the American Association of Community Colleges, Dell Technologies and Intel to create a hybrid laboratory with greater access to AI computing power, tools and resources.
“GRCC works to provide our students with the most up-to-date training in emerging and rapidly expanding fields,” said Julie Parks, dean of Workforce Training. “Doing that effectively means partnering with experts in these fields. With Dell Technologies and Intel, we know our students will have the right resources. We appreciate the leadership and support from AACC to bring these partners together and provide community college students with tremendous opportunities.”
AACC, Dell Technologies and Intel announced a joint commitment in January to grow Intel’s AI for Workforce Program from 18 states to 50 by 2023. Today, 42 institutions are joining the AI Incubator Network. The AI Incubator Network and AI for Workforce programs now include 70 community colleges in 32 states collaborating on AI curriculum, teaching best practices and lab development.
In addition to receiving the grant, GRCC was asked to join the AI Incubator Network to connect with community colleges nationwide on strategic economic development opportunities, participate in discussions about learning pathways, strategize on student engagement in AI programs, and gather best practices from each other and industry leaders.
“AI has become an increasingly important focus for community colleges as providers of workforce education for multiple industries,” said Walter G. Bumphus, AACC president and CEO. “Working together with peers and across sectors will enhance the ability of our colleges to advance and scale this curriculum across the nation to ensure that students earn the skills needed to fill these jobs and begin meaningful careers.”
Adrienne Garber, Dell Technologies’ senior strategist for higher education, said the company is committed to transforming 1 billion lives by 2030.
“By providing learning content for in-demand technology skills and creating artificial intelligence labs for teaching and learning at community and technical colleges across the U.S., we are moving closer to achieving that goal,” she said. “With collaborators like GRCC, we are creating opportunities for underrepresented populations in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics and the like to enter careers and fill job openings in much-needed technology fields.”-
Students don’t need extensive tech or coding experience to participate in the program; they just need an interest in developing AI skills for careers in the digital economy.
“Today’s students will enter a technology workforce where every organization will focus, in some capacity, on applying AI to solving problems and creating value for organizations,” said Carlos Contreras, senior director of AI and Digital Readiness at Intel. “Intel is excited to partner with the AACC and Dell Technologies to democratize AI technology and enable students to enter that workforce with AI experience.”