Ultimate Software (Nasdaq: ULTI), a leading provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions in the cloud, and FIU have announced a 10-year extension to their current technology-education partnership. The new commitment will help establish an endowment for the FIU College of Engineering and Computing’s School of Computing and Information Sciences, fund scholarships for students at the university, and support the development of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education throughout high schools in the community.
Ultimate first partnered with FIU in 2007 to create the TechSTARS internship program. Through TechSTARS, Ultimate works in tandem with FIU’s School of Computing and Information Sciences to identify promising students and provide them with real-life experience as part of a growing tech company. Since the program’s inception, Ultimate has employed more than 100 TechSTARS from FIU as full-time engineers.
“One of the ways we’ve been able to provide industry-leading HR software is by relying on fresh ideas from the best talent,” said Adam Rogers, chief technology officer at Ultimate. “We believe that the future of technology isn’t just in Silicon Valley, but also here in South Florida. Through our $1 million extended partnership, we’re working closely with FIU faculty and local high school teachers to help prepare the brightest students for successful careers in tech across the region. Our overall goal is to have a lasting impact on the lives of aspiring tech leaders.”
The partnership with Ultimate is part of a pivotal growth period and focus on STEM education at FIU, which graduates more Hispanics with bachelor’s and master’s degrees STEM than any other university in the continental U.S. With grants from the Florida Board of Governors for Information Technology Performance and Targeted Educational Attainment (TEAm), the university just opened its 8,000-square-foot Tech Station, a state-of-the-art complex featuring a software-design lab, an IT hardware and services lab, active-learning classrooms, and team rooms—all meant to promote creativity and innovation. Ultimate’s commitment to FIU also expands the existing Ultimate Software Academy, which provides technology training for high school teachers who are helping students develop STEM-based skills.
“It is critical that our students graduate and enter the workforce equipped with the education and skills that will lead to lifelong success,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “Ultimate Software’s support of our School of Computing and Information Sciences is a major force in providing that preparation, and a model of how a strategic public-private partnership can benefit our entire community. We look forward to continuing our partnership to enhance STEM education.”
Throughout its 25-year history, Ultimate has collaborated with educational institutions across the region to foster academic excellence and prepare the workforces that have contributed to South Florida’s growing tech ecosystem.
“Perhaps the biggest contribution we can offer students and educators is our people and our resources,” said Rogers. “We can provide insight about the skill sets and academic subjects necessary for success in tech, and then offer students the opportunity to apply those skills and that knowledge in real time through hands-on programs such as TechSTARS. In continuing our partnership with FIU, together we may build an even bigger and stronger pipeline of local talent, from high school to college to a fulfilling future in technology.”