PPG (NYSE:PPG) today announced that its corporate information technology (IT) department has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania to introduce students to careers in artificial intelligence (AI) and the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through the development of the PPG AI Pathways Institute (AIPI) & Teen Accelerator program. The PPG Foundation provided funds to help support this new initiative.
The three-week, intensive summer program connects students in ninth through 11th grades who have a passion for technology to project-based hands-on learning, mentorship, career exposure and networking opportunities.
“With the support of PPG and the PPG Foundation, we are helping students from historically underrepresented groups in these fields develop technical skills and confidence in their abilities, while encouraging them to build personal and professional connections with a diverse group of peers who share similar passions,” said Dr. Lisa M. Abel-Palmieri, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania.
More than 40 students and approximately 75 PPG IT employee volunteers participated in the inaugural PPG AIPI & Teen Accelerator program in early August at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania’s Lawrenceville and Carnegie locations.
As part of the program’s curriculum, student groups were tasked with using AI to identify, design and develop a prototype to solve a community problem. The students were introduced to computer programming specific to robotics, coding, human-centered design and other topics. They also had the opportunity to tour PPG’s Coatings Innovation Center (CIC) in Allison Park, Pennsylvania.
“We are extremely proud to partner with organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania to give young people in the community early exposure to computer science and STEM-based careers,” said Chris Caruso, PPG vice president, information technology. “This program is an incredible way for our PPG employee volunteers to have a positive impact on the lives, and minds, of our region’s future tech leaders and innovators.”
The students presented their prototypes to their families, school administration, local government officials and PPG employees at a public showcase and awards day held at PPG’s Pittsburgh headquarters on August 16.
After completing the program, 20 students were offered paid, part-time internships to further develop their prototypes through the Teen Accelerator program, where PPG mentors will continue to work with the students during the 2019-2020 school year.
PPG’s global community engagement efforts and the PPG Foundation aim to bring color and brightness to PPG communities around the world. We invested more than $9 million in 2018, supporting hundreds of organizations across 28 countries. By investing in educational opportunities, we help grow today’s skilled workforce and develop tomorrow’s innovators in fields related to coatings and manufacturing. Plus, we empower PPG employees to multiply their impact for causes that are important to them by supporting their volunteer efforts and charitable giving. Learn more at www.ppgcommunities.com.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania
Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania is a unique organization consisting of eight Clubhouses. Our goal is to provide every young person with the essential tools needed for a successful and bright future. Since 1888, when we were founded, the vision of Boys & Girls Clubs has grown and changed with the needs of our youth. In recent years, we have grown our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and Workforce Development Programs.
Every day, Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania strive to improve each young person’s life by growing self-esteem, courage, and positive values through our programs. Over 7,600 youth come to our Clubhouses or participate in our programs every year to receive tutoring and homework help, technical training, sports, fitness and recreation, arts programs, summer programming, career readiness, or a safe place to be with friends and mentoring. Our youth gain confidence by developing a sense of competence, usefulness, positive influence and belonging. Learn more at www.bgcwpa.org.
PPG: WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD™
At PPG (NYSE:PPG), we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and specialty materials that our customers have trusted for more than 135 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $15.4 billion in 2018. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit www.ppg.com.
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