WASHINGTON, D.C. – The General Motors Foundation today announced grants totaling $1 million to fund Hispanic education and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives to help empower young Latinos to join the workforce of the future.
Grace Lieblein, General Motors vice president of Global Quality and the highest ranking Latina at GM, announced the grants during a press conference at the National Press Club, where she was joined by GM Foundation Vice President Lori Wingerter, Chief Diversity Officer Ken Barrett, U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., and representatives from Hispanic organizations.
“Hispanics represent an important facet of our business as the next generation of leaders and innovators, and also our customers,” Lieblein said. “At GM, we want to help fund vital programs aimed at increasing opportunities for Latinos to pursue STEM careers and strengthen their skills to compete for jobs.”
The grants benefit the nation’s leading Hispanic organizations, including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI), the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) and Service Employment Redevelopment (SER) National.
Cárdenas, who represents California’s San Fernando Valley, said the grants will help increase the small number of Latino STEM graduates from U.S. colleges, helping to put more Americans into the family-wage jobs of the future.
“As the President has said, America can only succeed when we are playing with a full team. That means ensuring that everyone in our country has a great chance to not only learn, but also to succeed,” he said.
For decades, GM and its philanthropic foundation have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations across the country and around the world. These grants focus on advancing access to education through programs such as the Buick Achievers Scholarship, one of the largest programs of its kind in the country.
“We recognize the increasing importance of investing in the education and empowerment of Hispanic youth,” said Wingerter of the GM Foundation. “Through these grants, we hope to make a lasting difference in their lives and in their communities.”
Nineteen leading Hispanic groups will receive grants to fund programs focused on STEM education, including:
- League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) – will expand its Empower Hispanic America with Technology (EHAT) initiative, which provides access to state-of-the-art technologies in 60 Hispanic communities across the United States. The centers will provide STEM related student support services to five EHAT sites to help improve high school STEM achievement among Hispanic youth.
- National Council of La Raza (NCLR) – As part of its Special Initiative, NCLR will develop a new component within its successful Lideres program, facilitating professional development opportunities for 18-to-24 year-old Latinos and helping students gain leadership skills required for midlevel positions in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors.
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) – CHCI will invest in planning and capacity to build scalable and sustainable models to prepare for dynamic population growth and need associated with the prediction that Latinos will comprise one-quarter of the U.S. population by 2030.
- United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) – USHLI will develop a school-based project for economically disadvantaged students attending underserved schools and engaging the community in four predominantly Latino communities Prominent Latino experts in STEM-related fields from similarly disadvantaged backgrounds will help promote a greater understanding of STEM-related studies, practical uses and employment/career opportunities.
- Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) – HACR will focus on the HACR STEM Initiative, a forum of business sessions focusing on education, recruitment, retention, and Latinas in STEM, among others. The HACR STEM Initiative was created to understand the mechanisms that lead to lower participation in STEM fields for Hispanics and to identify barriers to successful career progression for those Hispanics in the STEM pipeline.
- SER National – SER National will focus on an early education model designed to respond to the unique needs of young linguistically and culturally diverse youth and their families. The primary goal is to advance early development and dual language learning of young children, preparing them for achievement in school, higher learning, economic well-being and participation in civil society.
Additional Hispanic organizations receiving funding include:
- American GI Forum (AGIF)
- Cuban American National Council, Nurturing Hispanic Communities (CNC)
- Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI)
- Great Minds in Stem (GMiS), formerly known as Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC)
- Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU)
- Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF)
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF)
- Latin Americans for Social & Economic Development (LA SED)
- LULAC National Education Service Centers (LNESC)
- MANA, A National Latina Organization
- National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC)
- Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
“We thank GM for its longstanding commitment to the Hispanic community,” said HACR President and CEO Cid D. Wilson. “This funding will help provide STEM-related programming, as well as professional development opportunities for Latinos in corporate America competing in a dynamic and changing workforce.”