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Last Updated : Feb 07, 2018 07:27 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

IT major Cognizant invests $100 million in STEM skills foundation

The grant to the "Cognizant US Foundation" is a result of anticipated benefits due to recent changes in US tax laws, the New Jersey-based company said in a statement.

IT services company Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp today said that it has formed a new non-profit foundation with an initial grant of USD 100 million, to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as digital education and skills initiatives for US workers and students.

The grant to the "Cognizant US Foundation" is a result of anticipated benefits due to recent changes in US tax laws, the New Jersey-based company said in a statement.

The foundation will focus on funding education and skills programmes in multiple US cities and states to help improve opportunities for local workers and students. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020 there will be a 1.4-million-person gap between software development jobs and qualified applicants to fill these positions in the U.S.

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“As the digital economy expands rapidly and changes the way businesses, organizations and governments operate, we believe it should create opportunities for all Americans,” said Cognizant Chief Executive Officer Francisco D’Souza. “Unfortunately, because of a very real skills gap, there are far more open jobs for technical work than there are trained workers to fill them.  A recent Cognizant Center for the Future of Work report on 21 Jobs of the Future identifies artificial intelligence, virtual reality, big data and other technologies as the new tools of the trade,” he added.

The foundation will address this technology skills gap through programmes focused on educating a wide range of Americans.

Cognizant currently has recruiting, training and reskilling efforts underway in several American cities where it operates, including the Bronx, New York; Des Moines, Iowa; and Tampa, Florida.

The company has plans to expand its training programs to Phoenix, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; and Charlotte, North Carolina in the near future.  The Cognizant U.S. Foundation will support a broad range of further education and skills initiatives.

There has been an increased focus on local US hiring and creating US-based jobs after Presidnet Donald Trump took office last year. The uncertainty around the H-1B work visas, used by Indian IT companies to send their employees onshore, has also led IT companies to look at setting up more local offices.

The issue of skill gap in technology companies is also a much talked about issue. Nearly all four top Indian IT companies have either contributed to similar skilling programmes through US-based universities, and also by initiating reskilling measures at their existing facilities.

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First Published on Feb 7, 2018 07:27 pm
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