Pratt & Whitney Invests $1.25M in Engineering Scholarship Program

11.04.2021
Workforce

Pratt & Whitney will invest $1.25 million in a scholarship program designed to help help minority students pursue engineering careers.

The East Hartford-based aerospace company announced the Pratt & Whitney Scholars Program Nov. 1. 

The initiative will provide four cohorts of five students with $10,000 per year for four years to pursue engineering studies at the University of Connecticut.

“The new Pratt & Whitney Scholars Program with UConn School of Engineering will serve the diverse communities and schools where we live and work,” said Pratt & Whitney vice president and chief human resources officer Maureen Waterston. 

“With this scholarship, we look forward to providing mentorship and support to 20 diverse engineering students.

“At Pratt & Whitney we are committed to building a diverse workforce with access for all as we continue to inspire the future generations of innovators.”

Opportunities

Waterston said the program will also provide summer internship opportunities at Pratt & Whitney, a senior design project sponsored by the company, and professional development and mentorship opportunities.

This program builds on the Raytheon Technologies’ subsidiary’s 30-plus years of support for diversity programs at UConn., including the long-running BRIDGE program, a five-week summer residential program designed to help women and underrepresented minorities.

“Pratt & Whitney has been a key partner with UConn as we train and graduate the next generation of leaders.”

UConn’s Kazem Kazerounian

Kazem Kazerounian, dean of the UConn School of Engineering, said the program will be embedded in the newly launched Vergnano Institute for Inclusion at UConn, launched in 2021.

“Pratt & Whitney has been a key partner with the UConn School of Engineering as we train and graduate the next generation of leaders,” Kazerounian said. 

“These new Pratt & Whitney Scholars will be a shining example of the best and brightest our school has to offer.”

Partnerships

Shannon Marimón, executive director of ReadyCT, the CBIA affiliate advancing STEM-based career learning in Connecticut’s public schools, called the program a natural extension of Raytheon’s investments in underserved school communities.

“Raytheon is among our strongest partners working to expose students attending the state’s highest need K-12 public schools to the full range of opportunities in manufacturing and engineering—two of Connecticut’s high-growth, high-demand sectors,” she said.

ReadyCT’s Shannon Marimón called the program a natural extension of Raytheon’s investments in underserved communities.

“While some students can find a successful post-secondary path directly into those sectors through K-12 coursework and work-based learning, others may aspire to higher education yet lack the means to turn aspirations into reality.

“A program that provides resources to those who would otherwise be denied will surely widen the talent pool.”

Applications for the first cohort of students are open. Awardees will be announced in early January, 2022. Additional freshman cohorts will be identified each fall until 2024.

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