Penn National Gaming has announced the launch of a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) scholarship program in partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in states where it operates.
The project will see Penn National dedicate more than $4m over five years to fund STEM scholarships and internship opportunities at the business.
The new program will initially work with schools such as Norfolk State University in Virginia, Bowie State University in Maryland and Wilberforce University in Ohio.
The commitment will extend Penn Nationa’s partnerships with 33 HBCUs across the US, with this ongoing collaboration helping to facilitate career opportunities at its properties.
This, the operator said, also increases participation in its Leadership Excellence at Penn National Gaming (LEAP) Program, which provides training, mentoring, and real-world experience to college graduates interested in building a career in the gaming industry.
“Last year, we formed the Penn Diversity Committee to help put our Company’s longstanding support of diversity and inclusion into action,” Penn Nationa president and chief executive Jay Snowden said.
“Their guidance led to the Company launching a $1m annual Diversity Scholarship Program for children of Penn National team members in furtherance of the Company’s commitment to equity in post-secondary education opportunities. This year 58 scholarships were awarded to eligible candidates, 57% of whom are first-generation students.
“The hard work of our Diversity Committee continues to help identify opportunities for new initiatives, including this new commitment towards STEM scholarships and internships for students at HBCUs.
“Increasing access to STEM opportunities for HBCU students is another important step to promote social and economic equity, as well as diversity, inclusion and belonging.”
The launch comes after Penn Nationa earlier this month reported revenue of $1.51bn for its third quarter 2021 results ended September 30, though profit declined due to non-operating expenses.