During a fellowship luncheon and fireside chat at the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) convention in Cincinnati, Lester Booker, Jr., the project manager for communications operations at General Motors explained to publishers and others why it’s important for the automaker and other Fortune 500 companies to invest in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUS).

“There are so many great men and women that are being developed and minds that are being cared for, cultivated inside of the schools and they don’t necessarily have the recruitment bandwidth and their career centers don’t have the relationships established to actually open up access to larger Fortune 500 companies,” Booker said.

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“So, I think it is imperative that if we want to grab diverse talent, specifically in the African American community,” he said during the conversation with NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., on Thursday, June 27 at the Cincinnati Westin Hotel.

Chavis and Booker touted the fourth year of the popular Discover the Unexpected Journalism Fellowship program (DTU) that was developed by Chevrolet in 2016 as an HBCU fellowship program.

“It’s purpose was to create and share optimistic stories while reinforcing the brand’s continued commitment to the African American community,” Booker said.

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