The Alabama A&M University Business/Industry Cluster was established in 1969 and has achieved since that time a tradition of teamwork and fulfillment of the University’s noble mission of teaching, research and extension.
The “cluster” concept grew out of a growing sentiment in the 1960s that business and industry should form mutually beneficial ties with the minority academic community to increase both educational opportunity and a skilled workforce.
The College Cluster Program evolved from the National Alliance of Businesses, which was formed in 1968 under the administration of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The AAMU Business/Industry Cluster provides assistance to the University in its production of quality, competitive graduates. More specifically, Cluster helps to improve the capability of graduates to compete successfully in the business/industry sector, while assisting AAMU in remaining competitive in the higher education arena.
According to their resources and expertise, members of AAMU’s Business/Industry Cluster assist in curriculum development and enhancement, long- and short-range planning, contract and institutional research, development, faculty-student exchange programs, internships, co-ops, job placement of graduates, and fundraising.
The nearly 40-year-old AAMU Business/Industry Cluster is a cooperative partnership between progressive educators and executives designed to provide quality programs and experiences for Alabama A&M University students.
Cluster members: Alabama Power Company, B&D Distributors, BellSouth, Boeing, CAS Inc., CSC, DESE Research Inc., Enfinger Steele Development Inc., ERC Inc., Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority, Jacobs Sverdrup-MSFC and ITSS Groups, JR Enterprises, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Madison Research Corporation, NASA-MSFC, Northrop Grumman, Redstone Federal Credit Union, Regions Financial Corporation, Rolls Royce Corporation, SAIC, Stanley Construction Company Inc., TEC-MASTERS, Inc., Teledyne Brown Engineering, U. S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army Garrison-Redstone, U.S. AMC (LOGSA), U. S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, and U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The Business/Industry Cluster also sponsors, through the Office of Corporate Relations, the Annual Black-Tie Scholarship Ball and has been responsible for the launching of numerous student development workshops and seminars throughout the academic year. To carry out its objectives, the AAMU Business/Industry Cluster organized the following focus groups:
This Focus Group will develop and make recommendations through appropriate channels concerning the relevancy of various curricular based on the needs of business and industry. This Group will also work with the University co-chair to propose enhanced and new programs to appropriate officials.
FUNDRAISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
The purpose of this Focus Group is to provide leadership in private philanthropic support for the University. This will be accomplished through business and industry donor cultivation, and coordination of special Cluster fundraising projects, and efforts to promote and enhance the image of AAMU in the public and private sectors. Examples might include financial or in-kind support of the University Foundation’s Annual Giving Campaign. This Group will serve as a liaison for soliciting and disseminating information regarding special industry projects that may require University assistance.
The purpose of this Focus Group is to increase Cluster memberships. This Group will conduct membership surveys, identify measures for member retention, and provide leadership in the cultivation of prospective members from across the public and private sector.
RESEARCH AND COLLABORATION
The purpose of this Focus Group is to promote research and development activity between the University and Cluster companies. This Group will also work with various University departments to assess potential for the implementation of new opportunities for industry, in-service for faculty and staff, enhanced industry collaboration, and access to University facilities and expertise.
This focus group will develop and implement a Business/Industry Cluster Cooperative Partnership that will meet current and future needs of the Cluster. This group will determine needs and goals of the University departments as it relates to Industry/Government and University needs. It will also assess the current and future Industry Clluster Partnership needs.
STUDENT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The purpose of this Focus Group is to assist the University in (a) enhancing student exposure to professional role models who have attained success in a variety of career fields; (b) facilitating increased numbers of university graduates in non-traditional fields; (c) supplying current trend information for career decision making; and (d) providing student opportunities for integrating work experience with classroom and laboratory instruction.