Siemens USA joins HBCU Partnership Challenge

Siemens USA joins HBCU Partnership Challenge

By: Barbara Humpton, President and CEO, Siemens USA

I always say that Siemens is a national asset. We support the vital industries and critical infrastructure forming the backbone of America’s economy. And together, we transform the everyday – from more agile and productive factories, to more intelligent and resilient buildings and power systems, to more reliable and sustainable transportation.


This mission creates a tremendous need at Siemens for STEAM leaders (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). We’re actively recruiting for thousands of open positions nationwide – from engineers, to data and software experts, to manufacturing professionals, to corporate finance professionals and lawyers, to technicians serving buildings, power, and automation systems.


And it’s through an extension of this effort that, this week, Siemens is committing to grow our partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities by joining the HBCU Partnership Challenge created by Congresswoman Alma Adams. 


Congresswoman Adams also is Co-Chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus alongside Congressman French Hill and Senators Tim Scott and Chris Coons. And our joining the Challenge this week coincides with HBCU STEAM Day of Action, an event created to strengthen public-private investments in HBCUs. 


We see joining the HBCU Partnership Challenge both as the right thing to do and as a business imperative. HBCUs are powerhouses for African-American talent, producing 27 percent of Black STEM graduates and 40 percent of Black engineers. By expanding our recruiting efforts with HBCUs and partnerships like with the HBCU Caucus, which is dedicated to cultivating this talent, we stand ready to provide real-world training and access to software to help HBCU students and graduates prepare for the jobs of the future. This furthers our efforts to advance racial justice and builds on our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workforce, in our workplaces, and in the marketplace.


The amazing community nurtured at HBCUs is too crucial to be at risk of a COVID-19 outbreak, a virus that has disproportionately affected people of color since the beginning of the pandemic.
 Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, Head of STEM Education for the Siemens Foundation

We used to hear the term skills gap a lot more in referring to the large number of openings in U.S. industries such as manufacturing, which has more than 400,000 open positions. Yet, more and more, industry leaders are recognizing that the real gaps are with representation and opportunity. Talent is equally distributed across our communities; opportunity isn’t. Advancing racial justice and diversity, equity and inclusion ensures that Siemens and our customers will have the skilled, innovative workforce we need today and in the future.


Our vision going forward calls for expanding recruiting efforts at HBCUs and builds on Siemens’ ongoing smart buildings work at campuses nationwide. The technologies we deploy at HBCUs to drive sustainability, energy reduction and facilities improvement also prepare students to lead the industries in which these technologies are being used. 


They do this by creating learning environments that give students hands-on experience in energy management and in using digital tools, as Siemens also has granted HBCUs access to our digital twin software. To name one example, our partnership with Morgan State University in Baltimore will help the university achieve its carbon neutral goal, foster living labs, and provide students with access to the software used by more than 35 Baltimore area employers – not to mention more than 140,000 companies worldwide.


Siemens has been recognized by Advancing Minorities’ Interesting in Engineering (AMIE) as a top supporter for HBCUs and by Forbes as among the Best Employers for Diversity. We also received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.


And, in the face of the pandemic, the Siemens Foundation, Siemens Healthineers and Siemens employees have donated nearly $3 million in funding and COVID-19 testing technologies to Testing for America to support the safe reopening of HBCUs across the country.   


Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, our Head of STEM Education for the Siemens Foundation and an HBCU graduate, captured this effort perfectly on our blog, writing, “The amazing community nurtured at HBCUs is too crucial to be at risk of a COVID-19 outbreak, a virus that has disproportionately affected people of color since the beginning of the pandemic.” 


Funding has so far been distributed to Delaware State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Lincoln University, Oakwood University, Central State University, and Bennett College. And Testing for America has now developed a playbook that all colleges and universities can use to start up testing, which builds off the knowledge from a pilot program at Delaware State. 


Last fall, Delaware State performed 35,000 tests, testing students twice weekly, to enable in-person instruction during the pandemic. The school did not have any COVID-19 outbreaks and on-campus housing stayed open through the semester, modeling a path forward.


We’re proud of these efforts and our partnerships with HBCUs, but Siemens is only getting started. The work ahead is important as we ensure the long-term success of HBCUs, increase career prospects for students, and advance diversity, equity and inclusion.


As Jennifer wrote, “These communities are incubating the leaders of tomorrow.”


And I hope many of these leaders one day work with us at Siemens

Editor’s Note: To learn more about careers at Siemens, visit our job openings page


Published: March 9, 2021