International consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton has recently announced that it will be partnering with North Carolina State University’s Artificial Intelligence Academy to help train employees in the fast-changing, high-paced world of artificial intelligence so that they may make way for new generations of AI masters.
The AI Academy is a $6 million grant apprenticeship program, offered by the United States Department Of Labor and designed to train students assuming roles in AI technology. The program began in March 2020, and was planned by industry leaders at NC State such as Carla C. Johnson, Ph.D, Collin Lynch, Ph.D., Thomas Price, Ph.D., Min Chi, Ph.D., and Noboru Matsuda, Ph.D.
The development program, offered to 5,000 individuals, consists of four courses and 40 weeks of workforce training. The aim is to integrate underrepresented workers, veterans, and underemployed workers with special intention in order to create a diverse and integrated environment for future AI intellectuals.
The majority of recruits will come directly from Booz Allen’s workforce, which consists of approximately one-third military veterans. The AI Academy will serve as a welcome transition for many service members to reintegrate into civilian society in a meaningful and lucrative way. This is especially beneficial to Booz Allen, as the firm’s heightened interest in AI development has grown as rapidly as the technological leaps of the industry.
“Data analytics and machine learning skills, coupled with mission understanding from our military veterans, are critical to the future of our nation’s defense and much of modern industry,” said Greg Wenzel, Executive Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton. “Companies like Booz Allen need a constant influx of talent in order to help keep America at the forefront. But many of these skills require experiential learning to be useful, so an apprenticeship that combines classroom learning with on-the-job training is really ideal.”
The shared mission of Booz Allen and North Carolina State University in the AI Academy initiative is to bridge the gap in qualification standards across the industry and create a larger, more skilled workforce. A sizable portion of the individuals participating in the program will come from regional North Carolina military installations like Ft. Bragg and Camp Lejeune.