Two not-for-profit organizations with roots that stretch back to the U.S. civil rights movement have announced a partnership to enhance the professional skills and career opportunities of the new generation of minority engineers. INROADS and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) will join forces in a multiyear agreement that equips members of both organizations with resources to advance in their workplaces, attain leadership positions and make a positive impact on their communities. The two-year agreement, a memorandum of understanding (MOU), will take effect on June 1, 2020.
 
“As a longtime admirer of the work of INROADS, I am very pleased that this partnership is becoming a reality,” said Jocelyn Jackson, national chair of NSBE and a Ph.D. student in engineering education research at the University of Michigan. “I can’t imagine a better organization to join with our other stakeholders in moving us toward our ‘10K Goal,’ ” Jackson added. NSBE’s main strategic goal is to lead the U.S. to graduate 10,000 new black engineers annually by 2025.
 
“At a time when the demand for talented black engineers is at an all-time high, we need innovative collaboration such as that of NSBE and INROADS,” said Forest Harper, president and CEO of INROADS. “We are honored and eager to partner with NSBE to ensure immediate and sustainable career pathways for the nation’s best leaders.”
 
NSBE was founded in 1975 by six African-American engineering undergraduates and their faculty advisor at Purdue University, to address the high attrition rate of black engineering students across the United States. Today, with nearly 25,000 members and more than 600 chapters in the U.S. and abroad, NSBE, an organization led by college and university students, continues its work to increase the number and representation of black engineers. INROADS, perhaps best known for its internship program, which places talented minority youth in business and industry, was founded in 1971 to prepare the young people for corporate and community leadership.
 
The agreement between the two influential groups will create a national partnership focused on data sharing and data mapping, alignment of the two organizations’ programs, and joint engagement with the organizations’ sponsors and supporters. Among the joint initiatives on the programmatic front, NSBE will promote INROADS’ Leadership Development Academy to the Society’s collegiate members and INROADS’ internship program and College Link to the adult advisors of NSBE Jr. chapters. NSBE Professionals members will benefit from the two organizations’ joint recruitment events for mid-level professionals.
 
“The mission of INROADS and the mission of NSBE came from the same passion,” said Karl W. Reid, Ed.D., NSBE executive director. “Our founders envisioned a world made better by equal opportunity and maximized potential for young people of all races and ethnicities. Today, the world is more interconnected than our founders imagined, and diversity and inclusion matter more than ever,” Dr. Reid added. “By working together, NSBE and INROADS will be able to leverage our four decades of work in diversity to create an even stronger force for positive change.”
 
ABOUT NSBE
With more than 600 chapters and more than 24,000 active members in the U.S. and abroad, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the United States. NSBE, founded in 1975, supports and promotes the aspirations of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology. NSBE’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.” For more information, visit www.nsbe.org.
 
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