NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Six historically black universities in five Southern states will receive the first IBM Cybersecurity Centers aimed at training underrepresented communities, the company said.

The schools are North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, Xavier University of Louisiana, that state’s Southern University System, South Carolina State, Clark Atlanta and Morgan State University, according to a news release this week.

“Technology-related services are in constant demand, and cybersecurity is paramount,” said Ray L. Belton, president of the Baton Rouge-based Southern University System.

The centers will give students, staff and faculty access to modern technology, resources and skills development, said Nikunja Swain, chair and professor of the South Carolina State Department of Computer Science and Mathematics. , in Orangeburg.

“This will further enhance our ongoing activities in several key areas including cybersecurity, data science analytics, cloud computing, IOT, blockchain, design thinking, quantum computing and artificial intelligence,” he said.

IBM said it plans more than 20 centers at historically black colleges and universities nationwide.

The company said each school will receive personalized tuition and have access to the company’s academic programs. They will also be able to experience simulated yet realistic cyberattacks through the IBM Security Command Center.

“NC A&T State University being chosen as one of the top six HBCU Cybersecurity Leadership Centers is a great privilege that will provide our students with access to top education, technology and industry professionals. order and ensure that the future cybersecurity workforce will be diverse, experienced and capable of protecting this country,” said Hossein Sarrafzadeh, director of the Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity Research, Education and Outreach at NC A&T, according to the IBM press release.

The company said it will also provide faculty and students with free access to several IBM Cloud SaaS environments.

The tech giant also announced a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans transition from military service to the workforce and a collaboration to provide skills training for neurodiverse workers in 13 countries, including states. -United.

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