AT&T Aspire announced a $15,000 contribution to the University of Louisiana System Foundation to support 30 scholarships for first-generation college students enrolled in a STEM program at one of the Universities of Louisiana.

 “Without the support of AT&T, some of our highest achieving students would not be afforded the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Jim Henderson, UL System President and CEO said. “With their help, more students in our state will have the support and resources they need to stay in school and graduate.”

“We know that fewer than 25 percent of low-income first-generation students earn their way to a bachelor’s degree when they have to face day-to-day financial challenges in addition to balancing social and academic responsibilities,” Alejandro “Al” Perkins, UL System board chair said. “AT&T’s support to these students in STEM-related curriculums will ensure their chances of completing a degree program that provides the essential skills required for tomorrow’s STEM jobs.”

By 2020, around the world, there is likely to be a shortage of approximately 40 million high-skilled workers and 45 million medium-skilled workers. AT&T hires nearly 30,000 people each year and it’s critical that each new hire is able to hit the ground running with the skills to succeed.

“At AT&T, we understand that the future of our country and our business depends on a well-educated, well-prepared workforce. More than at any time in history, it is critical that we invest in young people to develop a diverse talent pipeline with the skills to help society prosper,” Sonia Perez, President, AT&T Louisiana said. “With AT&T’s more than $1 billion investment in its wired and wireless networks in Louisiana, we support and depend upon the education system that is working every day to develop our future workforce.”