Apple awards grants for computer microchip courses to historically Black schools

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said Thursday it will give $5 million to four historically Black universities to help extend their engineering programs for designing the chips that power electronic gadgets.

Apple said the $5 million will be spread across Alabama A&M University, Howard University, in Washington, D.C., Morgan State University, in Baltimore, and Prairie View A&M University, in Texas, more than three years. The cash comes from Apple’s broader racial justice initiative, which it declared last year with $100 million in initial funding.

The grants will support each school’s engineering departments and try to center growing course work in fields like computing architecture and designing chips. The cash will likewise support fellowships and internships in hardware technologies, Apple said.

Apple custom designs large numbers of the chips in its flagship gadgets, including central processors for its Mac computers and iPhones and special chips in its AirPods earphones that help them work easily with other Apple gadgets.

“We know many jobs of the future will be in innovative areas like silicon engineering and we want to help ensure the leaders of tomorrow have access to transformational learning opportunities,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said in a statement.