GRCC wins grant, partners with Dell Technologies, Intel

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Courtesy Grand Rapids Community College

A local community college was chosen to partner with tech giants Dell and Intel in a nationwide program to help enhance higher education resources for teaching artificial intelligence programming. 

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) is one of 15 colleges nationwide to be awarded a $40,000 grant from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Dell Technologies and Intel. 

The grant will be used to expand its computer labs and create a hybrid laboratory with greater access to artificial intelligence (AI) computing power, tools and resources and will help move GRCC to the forefront of Michigan AI educators. 

As a part of the AACC grant program, GRCC was also asked to join the Artificial Intelligence Incubator Network program 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

The grant and program are the result of a joint commitment between AACC, Dell Technologies and Intel to grow Intel’s AI for Workforce program from reaching 18 states to all 50 by 2023. The AI Incubator Network and AI for Workforce programs now include 70 community colleges in 32 states. 

“GRCC works to provide our students with the most up-to-date training in emerging and rapidly expanding fields,” said Julie Parks, dean of GRCC’s 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.”

Added Walter Bumphus, AACC president and CEO, “AI has become an increasingly important focus for community colleges as providers of workforce education for multiple industries. 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.” 

Students don’t need tech or coding experience to participate in GRCC’s 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.”

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