PPG and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania (BGCWPA) will kick off the third year of the PPG Artificial Intelligence Pathways Institute (AIPI) & Teen Accelerator program by expanding to new locations in Western Pennsylvania and virtually in Detroit, Michigan.
Not your average summer camp or after school program, the PPG AIPI + Teen Accelerator program is a three-week, intensive summer program connecting underrepresented students in grades nine through 11 who have a passion for technology and who are traditionally untapped in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related fields.
“Thanks to the impressive support of PPG, BGCWPA and our partners can expand our AIPI Program in order to serve more communities, particularly given the continued lack of diversity in STEM technical roles in this region and beyond,” said Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri, BGCWPA President and CEO.
She continued, “According to the Allegheny Conference, less than 2% of the IT workforce in Pittsburgh are Black and less than 10% of computer programmers identify as being minority or females. Organizations like BGCWPA are a critical partner and bridge to identify, prepare and connect youth to companies with emerging tech roles. Expanding AIPI will impact young peoples’ futures and the future of our city.” The Allegheny Conference is an organization committed to improving the Pittsburgh region’s economic future and quality of life.
The program focuses on project-based hands-on learning, mentorship, career exposure and networking opportunities. It culminates into a judged poster session where students present solutions to community social justice challenges. These projects are mentored and judged by PPG technical staff mentor volunteers.
As a new addition to the program for 2021, BGCWPA and PPG will develop an IT pre-apprentice program to offer training pathways for AIPI program participants.
“Education, and specifically early, hands-on experience with STEM programming, enables possibilities for the next generation of STEM leaders,” said Malesia Dunn, executive director, PPG Foundation and corporate global social responsibility. “We are thrilled to continue this program in the Pittsburgh area and beyond to reach diverse students and communities and initiate bright futures in artificial intelligence and other significant career paths.”
PPG’s partnership with BGCWPA is part of our commitment to invest $20 million by 2025 to address systemic racism and advance racial equity in the U.S. by funding educational pathways for Black communities and people of color. To learn more about this investment, click here.
To learn more about the PPG AIPI + Teen Accelerator program, click here.