By Jerry Underwood, Made in Alabama | The Birmingham Times
Funding from Amazon will allow Tuskegee University to set up advanced training programs in mechatronics, robotics, supply chain management and logistics operations. (Tuskegee University)
Tuskegee University has a new partnership with Amazon that will establish advanced training programs in mechatronics, robotics, supply chain management and logistics operations for students at the Macon County institution.
Amazon donated $1.2 million to fund the programs, which will include scholarships and a pipeline for leadership roles at the tech giant.
Tuskegee Provost Keith Hargrove said the initiative will benefit students across campus.
“Amazon’s contribution allows us to enhance our academic curriculum to provide our students with a foundation in supply chain and logistics for all majors, and a specialty for engineering majors in robotics and mechatronics,” Hargrove said.
“This creates training opportunities for our students to engage in cutting-edge technology and business practice that Amazon is known for while preparing them for career opportunities with one of the world’s most valuable brands.”
Amazon is donating $1.2 million to fund programs at Tuskegee University that will train students in cutting-edge technology and business practices while preparing them for career opportunities with the company. (Tuskegee University)
The partnership between Amazon and Tuskegee is the latest example of innovation in rural Alabama, where universities and companies are engaged in developments that are shaping the future in research and industries, said Brenda Tuck, Rural Development manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“When a company like Amazon, a global online retailer and tech services provider, makes such a significant investment, that speaks volumes about the importance of Tuskegee University and also the community that surrounds it,” she said.
A rendering shows the planned Regional East Alabama Logistics Park under development near Interstate Highway 85 in Tuskegee. (contributed)
“We are excited to see this partnership unfold and see Tuskegee students play a key role in Amazon’s future.”
Another high-profile development in Tuskegee is the launch of the Regional East Alabama Logistics (REAL) Park, which is expected to be a hub of global commerce serving companies in the automotive, aerospace, forest products and other industries along the Interstate Highway 85 corridor.
The Amazon-Tuskegee partnership will provide training in design, distribution, risk assessment and other topics through classroom and lab instruction. The College of Business and Information Science will lead the supply chain initiative, and the College of Engineering will lead the mechatronics and robotics program.
Two Tuskegee alums who are Amazon employees – Leonard Spencer and Kennedy Oates – were advocates for the donation to their alma mater. The donation was presented at Tuskegee by Amazon executives Mamar Gelaye and Kevin Keck.
Tuskegee President Charlotte Morris said she is proud of former students who are reaching back to help the next generation of Tuskegee alumni.
“We are excited about the opportunities this partnership provides to Tuskegee students,” she said.