PENN Entertainment has announced the expansion of its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) scholarship program in partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The new deal sees the program grow to six HBCUs in total, as three new universities are participating – Jackson State University in Mississippi, Prairie View A&M University in Texas, and Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana.
The initial three participating universities are Norfolk State University in Virginia, Bowie State University in Maryland, and Wilberforce University in Ohio.
Through the initiative, PENN will contribute more than $4m to fund STEM scholarships with HBCUs over the next five years in states where it operates. The company will also produce internship opportunities.
“As a company at the forefront of technology, we launched this program as a way to increase access to STEM opportunities for HBCU students and create real-world, hands-on learning experiences,” commented Justin Carter, Senior Vice President of Regional Operations for PENN Entertainment and Chairman of the company’s Diversity Committee.
PENN has partnerships with 35 HBCUs across the US, helping to facilitate career opportunities at PENN and increase participation in its Leadership Excellence at PENN Entertainment (LEAP) Program.
LEAP offers hands-on training, mentoring, and real-world experience to college graduates who are interested in a long-term career in the gaming industry.
Carter added: “The addition of these three esteemed universities deepens our widespread support for HBCUs and expands our efforts to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion in the communities where we operate.
“STEM careers make up a growing share of jobs in today’s economy, and we are committed to narrowing the representation gap in STEM fields and empowering students in this program for years to come.”
Earlier this month, PENN praised its progress in Ontario and its omnichannel execution in its financial report for the third quarter.