U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to tout the contributions of Alabama’s HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) and the impact the schools have had across the nation.
According to a recent study, the Yellowhammer State’s HBCUs have delivered more than $1.5 billion of economic impact, played a significant role in the creation of over 15,000 jobs and produced $12.5 billion in lifetime earnings.
Last month, Tuberville and fellow U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced a resolution to establish a “National HBCU Week” dedicated to honoring the impact the institutions have had across the United States.
The former Auburn head football coach recalled his time visiting recruits, playing witness to the conditions surrounding the nation’s youth who reside in underserved communities.
“I’ve recruited hundreds and hundreds of students from across our country,” said Tuberville. “I have been in their homes. I’ve seen how they lived. I’ve seen how they’ve grown up. Unfortunately, for many children from difficult backgrounds, a large percent coming from one or no-parent homes, real opportunities can be hard to come by, very hard.”
The freshman senator noted the tradition-rich culture of HBCUs and their legacy of creating opportunities which stem from their research and workforce development programs.
“Many students across the country have turned to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, better known as HBCUs, to answer these questions because of the pathway HBCUs provide,” he added. “While they are respected for their strong traditions, HBCUs are the ultimate opportunity creators for students all across this country.”
Tuberville touted the number of HBCUs that call Alabama home, which is more than any other state in the Union.
“I am proud that the great state of Alabama is home to 13 HBCUs, the most of any state in the nation,” the senator said. “These colleges are major contributors to communities across our state, producing more than 15,000 jobs annually for our local economies. And they also prepare students for the 21st century job market.”
In 2019, Congress passed bipartisan legislation which permanently designated more than $250 million a year to the nation’s HBCUs, which was signed into law by then-President Donald Trump.
He continued, “Overcoming decades of adversity and opposition, HBCUs continue to be competitive, educational institutions with programs for students who want higher education, career tech training, or to position themselves for better employment opportunities. We need to honor accomplishments by the HBCUs and celebrate their significant contributions to our society.”
Tuberville praised the South Carolina senator’s work in promoting HBCUs and his efforts to formally recognize the important role the institutions play in building a strong economy.
“Over the last decade, my colleague Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina has been focused on doing just that,” said Tuberville. “I’m thankful to have joined him the last month to introduce a resolution to formally designate the week of September 6 as National HBCU Week because their work and the work of their leaders, these institutions are deserving of national recognition.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL