MCCCD Opens First-of-its-Kind AI Incubator Lab at Chandler-Gilbert Campus

TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2022

From Maricopa County Community College District – The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) and Intel Corporation have announced the opening of a new artificial intelligence (AI) incubator lab at the Chandler- Gilbert Community College (CGCC) campus to expand access and resources to enrolled AI for Workforce program students. Along with an AI curriculum, technical advice, and faculty training, Intel provided CGCC a technology grant that enabled the community college to purchase $60k worth of cutting-edge equipment for the lab, including state of the art workstations, monitors, and open-source Intel AI software tools to implement new AI technology. 

“The Maricopa County Community College District was the first community college to partner with Intel on their AI for Workforce program in 2020. Within the last two years, we have been able to see our students gain new AI skills, and we are proud to have our first graduating class from the AI program this Spring,” said MCCCD Interim Chancellor, Dr. Steven R. Gonzales. “This lab is critical to providing the necessary tools for their education, and we are appreciative of Intel, Dell and AZ commerce for the designated space so our facility and students can thrive.” 

In partnership with Intel, Dell, and the State of Arizona, the Maricopa County Community College District’s AI incubator lab is for students aspiring to land jobs in areas ranging from business to nursing to healthcare — and other professions which increasingly draw on AI technology. The first-of-its-kind lab will support a variety of AI courses, including Introduction to Machine Learning, AI for Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, AI for Business, and others to meet the computing needs of the AI for Workforce program course load. 

According to Community College Review, community colleges enroll nearly half of all college students and provide educational opportunities for workforce reskilling and development. The AI lab will give CGCC students the skills that are in demand by employers for the jobs of tomorrow.

“We are committed to the re-skilling of the American workforce and to advancing diversity and inclusion to ensure that the next generation of technologists are prepared and provided opportunities for AI education,” said Michelle Johnston Holthaus, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group. 

Through this longstanding partnership, MCCCD and Intel are contributing to the re-skilling of the American workforce while advancing diversity and inclusion. 200 students are currently enrolled in the AI for Workforce program at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and will have access to the new AI lab. A total of 13,000 students attend the community college. All are eligible to apply for the AI for Workforce program. MCCCD and Intel launched the AI for Workforce Program in 2020 and now the program is being offered to 31 community colleges across the country that includes hands-on training, and expanded access to technology skills needed for current and future jobs. The partnership further shows MCCCD and Intel’s commitment to the re-skilling of the American workforce and the advancement of diversity and inclusion.

Kim Swei
Author: Kim Swei

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