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Umpqua Community College awarded grant for new AI lab through new AI Incubator Network

Written by on July 12, 2022

Roseburg, Ore. – Tuesday, Umpqua Community College was awarded a $40,000 grant from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Dell Technologies and Intel, as part of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Incubator Network Initiative. The attributed funds will go towards building an AI incubator on a virtual platform for greater access to AI computing power, tools and resources, aiming to foster the skills needed for future jobs. A total of 15 colleges nationwide were selected based on criteria determined by AACC, Dell Technologies and Intel.

At UCC, the 100% online courses will include live-remote instruction and offer hands-on experience activities with take-home AI hardware kits. Students will have the opportunity to meet and create a virtual community in which they can work and study together as a cohort.

“I am excited to see our rural community get ahead of the technology curve by creating our own AI degree, and help students earn the skills needed to fill in-demand jobs. I really see this as an opportunity to mitigate job loss and create local, high-wage job opportunities in Douglas County,” said John Blackwood, associate professor of computer science.

In January 2022, AACC, Dell Technologies and Intel announced a joint commitment to grow Intel’s AI for Workforce Program from 18 states to 50 by 2023. In addition to receiving the grant, Umpqua Community College has also joined the AI Incubator Network to connect with community colleges across the nation on strategic economic development opportunities, participate in discussions about learning pathways, strategize on student engagement in AI programs, and gather best practices from each other and industry leaders.

“Today’s students will enter a technology workforce where every organization will focus in some capacity on applying AI to solving problems and creating value for organizations. Intel is excited to partner with the AACC and Dell Technologies to democratize AI technology and enable students to enter that workforce with AI experience,” said Carlos Contreras, Senior Director of AI and Digital Readiness at Intel.

We encourage students from all backgrounds to participate. There is no prior tech or coding knowledge needed, only foundational math skills. We look forward to empowering the next generation with the necessary AI skills for careers in the digital economy. Students may sign up for the program by enrolling at or for more information on the UCC program, contact John Blackwood,, associate professor of computer science.

About AACC
As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for more than 10 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC’s member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers, and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all.

About Intel
Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is an industry leader, creating world-changing technology that enables global progress and enriches lives. Inspired by Moore’s Law, we continuously work to advance the design and manufacturing of semiconductors to help address our customers’ greatest challenges. By embedding intelligence in the cloud, network, edge and every kind of computing device, we unleash the potential of data to transform business and society for the better. To learn more about Intel’s innovations, go to and © Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries.

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