Students Begin Internships in HBCU Innovation Internship Program
Birmingham, AL, February 7, 2024 – The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA), in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and Innovate Alabama, announce the launch of the HBCU Innovation Internship Program – designed to diversify the pipeline of tech talent and create opportunities for underserved populations in the tech sector.
The 12-week HBCU Innovation Internship Program, which kicked off in January 2024, is now in full swing. It provides exposure, hands-on work experience, and supplementary professional development for seven selected students from four partnering Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Alabama: Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Miles College, Shelton State Community College and Tuskegee University.
The program is dedicated to addressing the challenges young Black professionals face and providing them with a pathway to success in the innovative landscape. By placing students from Alabama HBCUs in paid internships across six Alabama-based tech startups, accelerators, and incubators, the program’s aim is to create opportunities and lasting impact. The long-term hope is that these students will not only enjoy careers in startups or innovative organizations, but that they will do so here in Alabama.
“As we launch the HBCU Innovation Internship Program, we are not only addressing the critical need for diverse talent in the tech sector, but we are also fostering a supportive environment for the career development of young Black professionals,” said Miller Girvin, EVP of Innovation and Talent at EDPA. “By providing hands-on internship experiences at innovative Alabama companies, we are sowing the seeds for a more inclusive and dynamic future. We are excited to witness the positive impact that these talented students will undoubtedly bring to the tech industry and beyond.”
The six partnered companies employing the interns are: Techstars EnergyTech Accelerator, Prosper HealthTech Accelerator, Innovation Depot, HudsonAlpha AgTech Accelerator, Immediate, and Decatur-Morgan County E-Center.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the additional capacity and perspective that our intern brings to our team,” said Kellie Clark, Managing Director of the Prosper HealthTech Accelerator. “Additionally, we believe that success moves at the speed of relationships – which makes us even more excited to expand our intern’s professional network.”
Interns were chosen from a group of finalist applicants who participated in an Interview Day with participating employers. The finalists were selected based on interest in tech and entrepreneurship, GPA, race and ethnicity, interview performance, enrollment status and the ability to reflect the program’s commitment to a holistic and inclusive approach.
EDPA is a private, nonprofit organization, supported by more than 60 Corporate Partners. EDPA is governed by a board of directors, comprised of the state’s top business leaders, committed to the economic growth of Alabama. It supports economic development research, workforce development, talent retention and attraction, innovation and entrepreneurship, policy, lead generation and emerging businesses and community development initiatives. EDPA is the private sector’s means for contributing to Alabama’s economic development success. Its unique structure allows it to work closely with state, regional, corporate, and local organizations. In addition, it helps innovative startups and entrepreneurs Start, Stay and Grow in Alabama through Alabama Launchpad, which is a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation. Other programming includes ALEX (Alabama Experience) and FuelAL.
Media Contact: Audrey Ferguson