Intel, one of the largest semiconductor makers in the world, is expanding its Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Workforce Program and partnering with Middlesex College, along with 18 community colleges across the country.
This expansion will enable hundreds of thousands of students to land careers in high-tech, healthcare, automotive, industrial and aerospace fields.
“This partnership with Intel underscores Middlesex College’s commitment to prepare students for high-skilled jobs that are in demand and have high growth potential. There is no better partner than Intel in training the next generation of AI technology workers. We are excited to have their expertise and resources in helping to develop a workforce that will be critical to our local and national economy,” Middlesex College President Mark McCormick said in a prepared statement.
The partnership includes schools in 11 states, including Arizona, California, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
Spanning the 18 participating community colleges, the program is available to more than 800,000 students nationwide.
According to Linda Scherr, vice president of academic affairs at Middlesex College, Intel’s AI content will be infused in the curricula for students in business and computer-science related fields.
Middlesex College’s implementation of Intel’s AI for Workforce Program is the latest example of the College’s strong record of working with industry partners in establishing career pathways to high-paying jobs for students from diverse communities, according to the statement.
Community colleges offer the opportunity to democratize AI technology since they attract a diverse array of students with various backgrounds and expertise, according to the statement. The expansion of the program will provide access and opportunities to a broad group of students in these fields, including those in underrepresented and underserved communities and offer the technological skills needed for the job market.
Students will learn traditional skills, such as data collection, AI model training, and coding.
Additionally, students will explore the societal impact of AI technology and develop a social impact of AI projects, working closely with faculty and mentors from Intel.
In a 2021 co-branded Dell and Intel survey, AI and machine learning are the area of study most anticipated to increase in demand over the next three years, according to the statement. According to the same survey, AI skills were the second most in-demand skill behind cybersecurity. Furthermore, 69% of respondents indicated employer demand for AI technical skills increasing, with 73% expecting AI literacy skills to become more in-demand by employers.
In 2020, Intel launched its AI for Workforce Program, first piloted by Arizona’s Maricopa County Community College District, to provide AI content to community colleges across the nation. Now Middlesex College is a part of the larger program that includes hands-on programming, and expanded access to technology skills needed for current and future jobs, according to the statement.
Middlesex College’s Business and Computer Science Department has been working directly with the team from Intel since Spring 2021. The faculty have already received training and are working on developing a curriculum to prepare for the first cohort of students for a certificate program in Fall 2022.
“As AI and machine learning takes over, I cannot stress enough how much I look forward to the launch of this program which will give us an opportunity to make AI and machine learning knowledge and skills accessible for a larger population at a lower cost and high quality,” Dr. Aslihan Cakmak, chair of business and computer science at Middlesex College, said in the statement.