Story and photo submitted by Elijah Baker, Public Relations Coordinator
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – On Wednesday, Jacobs presented the Drake State Foundation with a $200,000 commitment to support the college’s Frontiers Research Program. Notable speakers included Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions President Dr. Steve Arnette, Marshall Space Flight Center Director Jody Singer, Huntsville City Council President John Meredith, and Jacobs Space Exploration Group Team Lead Ayana Reese.
The $200K donation is part of Jacobs’ 2020 corporate commitment to donate $10 million dollars over five years with a priority on Black educational and professional development and scholarship opportunities under its global diversity Action Plan for Advancing Justice and Equality. Due to racial inequalities and lack of advancement among Black talent in the workforce, Jacobs tapped Drake State to collaborate and strengthen the participation of Black students in science and engineering educational programs.
“We’re creating change within our community by providing solutions to diversify the workforce,” said Drake State President Dr. Patricia Sims. “The Jacobs Together Beyond and Harambee Scholars Fund will support our additive manufacturing curriculum and help students develop the necessary skills to complete their associate degrees that could lead to potential internship and full-time job opportunities with Jacobs.” As NASA’s largest service provider, Jacobs has been the Prime Contractor on the engineering, science, and technology contract at Marshall Space Flight Center since 1989.
The Frontiers Research Program is a NASA sponsored Cooperative Agreement with Drake State and is the first of its kind to be awarded to a two-year institution and Historically Black College and University (HBCU). The Frontiers research interns have been working on a variety of additive manufacturing projects that contribute to current NASA needs in lunar habitat design and manufacturing.
“Advancing justice and equality requires strong leadership and a relentless drive to deliver on that vision,” said Jacobs Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou. “As a global leader, we know we must contribute to structural change not only at Jacobs, but in society as a whole. We believe in setting the tone and actively doing our part to create a future where everyone can thrive.”