Expo on high-tech jobs for blacks opens today; Mission: IBM and Boeing are some of the companies at the 13th annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference.


An estimated 8,000 professionals, recruiters and college students from around the country are expected to descend on the Baltimore Convention Center today for the 13th annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference.

The three-day conference, sponsored by Baltimore's Career Communications Group Inc., will feature workshops and seminars on engineering and technology.

The centerpiece of the event will be a career fair attended by college students looking for internships and jobs after graduation, and professionals seeking better-paying and more challenging work. The conference expects to draw recruiters and representatives from major technology companies such as Sun Microsystems Inc., Merck & Co., IBM Corp., Boeing Aircraft Co. and Compaq Computer Corp., organizers said.

CCG publishes US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine.

"The mission of this corporation is to promote science and technology and moving black folks forward," said Marsha Reeves Jews, CCG's president and chief operating officer.

"The mission of the conference is to lift the engineers from the pages of our magazine, bring them to life and celebrate their accomplishments," said Jews, adding that the conference is open to the public. New to this year's conference is the Black Family Technology Awareness Summit on Saturday.

The summit will conclude a week of events in nearly 100 cities, including Baltimore, designed to involve the black family in acquainting children about technology and its career opportunities, Jews said.

CCG sent a guide to churches, libraries and nonprofit groups throughout the country to illustrate how to conduct events such as "Internet day" or "family tech night."

"We wanted to advise black families on what they need to do to cross the digital divide," said Tyrone D. Taborn, chairman and chief executive of CCG.

The technology awareness summit will include sessions to develop an action plan for involving black families and children in technology, he said.

"It's easier to preach, but it's difficult to teach," Taborn said. "It's one thing to outline the problem, but it's necessary to provide the proper tools to deal with it.

"We know technology is the future. The question is, how do we all become a part of that?"

The conference will culminate Saturday evening with an awards banquet recognizing 30 award winners, including the 1999 national Black Engineer of the Year.

Pub Date: 2/11/99

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