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GE announces new program to increase diversity of young people in engineering

CINCINNATI (WXIX) – On Wednesday, GE announced a five-year, $5 million investment in Cincinnati to launch Next Engineers.

GE says the program is focused on increasing the diversity of young people in engineering.

GE has selected Cincinnati as one of four inaugural locations, aiming to inspire more than 3,500 local students ages 13 to 18, provide first-hand experiences of engineering, and award financial support to pursue further education in engineering.

GE said they will work directly with the University of Cincinnati to implement the program locally.

“It is an absolute thrill to welcome the Next Engineers program to the Cincinnati community,” Chief Diversity Officer at GE Aviation Joe Allen said in a news release. “With the help of our great, long-standing partners at the University of Cincinnati and our talented employees here at GE, I’m confident this program will be transformational for young people in our community.”

Next Engineers offers three programs:

  • Engineering Discovery for students ages 13-14 (eighth grade) and their guardians with the goal of increasing awareness through multiple, short, one-hour exploratory experiences and hand-on activities connecting students to real engineers. Sessions are delivered by volunteers in the classroom or in the community to inspire youth early and highlight the broad array of engineering careers.
  • Engineering Camp for students ages 14-15 (rising ninth grade) with the goal of developing engineering identities through a week-long immersive camp experience over school break where students interact with experienced engineering faculty and staff, complete design challenges solving real-world problems and interact directly with professional engineers and business leaders.
  • Engineering Academy for students ages 15-18 (grades nine to 12) with the goal of guiding and encouraging students to pursue engineering degrees. Engineering Academy is a three-year college readiness program for upper secondary students that helps them learn to think and act like engineers and prepare them to select and succeed at an engineering major at the university level. The program provides 80 hours per year of out-of-school programming. The program will include longer challenges and a capstone project, career coaching to expose students to different engineering pathways, and college-readiness workshops. Students accepted to higher education engineering programs will also receive a scholarship from the GE Foundation.

Students can begin applying for the third program online.

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