Ford Looks To Atlanta For Diverse Tech Talent

Ford Motor Co. aims to continue its digital transformation with the help of a new Atlanta-based facility. 

The Ford Atlanta Research and Innovation Center joins a global network of centers as the automaker focuses on software-led connected vehicles, artificial intelligence and university research. It will be a key part of the company’s new era of automated, connected and electrified vehicles.

Led by Doron Elliott, who is Black, the facility aims to increase the number of underrepresented Black, Hispanic and female employees. Elliott is senior manager of Ford In-Vehicle Infotainment.

“Underrepresentation is a significant issue in software and engineering industries, especially when it comes to Black and Hispanic communities, which makes it particularly exciting to work with local colleges, universities and nonprofits to help bring greater diversity into the tech space,” said Elliott in a release. 



The city of Atlanta is selected for Ford’s next City:One Challenge, program offering up to $150,000 in grants to local startups collaborating with residents to pilot mobility solutions.

Sponsored by AT&T, Delta Air Lines, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Novelis, the program is administered in part by student fellows from local colleges and universities, and proposals will be accepted May–June 2023. Winners will be chosen by December 2023, and mobility pilots are expected to deploy in Atlanta neighborhoods by summer 2024.

Since 2018, City:One has distributed more than $1 million in grant funding to 15 mobility pilots across the country.

As the automaker undergoes what it is calling  the most profound transformation in its history, it remains committed to developing a workforce that reflects the communities and customers that it serves.

The company will leverage relationships with regional Historically Black Colleges and Universities and The Atlanta University Center Consortium to help make high-tech career opportunities more available to diverse students.

That includes creating flexible, non-traditional career pathways for people interested in pursuing software and high-tech careers, including co-ops, internships, part-time work and non-degree software programs in collaboration with Atlanta-based TechBridge.

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