WASHINGTON, May 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With the support of 43 chemical manufacturers and related industry stakeholders, the founding partners of the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) today announced the program surpassed its 2021 goal to fund scholarships for 150 students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The program will support 151 scholars in its inaugural year, at an investment of $7.2 million dollars. Multi-year commitments from sponsoring organizations have raised an additional $4 million in support of future scholars.

Launched last year by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), The Chemours Company and the HBCU Week Foundation, FOSSI is the chemical industry's collaborative equity, diversity and inclusion initiative aimed at creating pathways for more underrepresented groups to enter and succeed in the chemical industry. FOSSI provides scholarship recipients $10,000 per year for four years, as well as opportunities for internships, mentoring and leadership training.

"I am proud to stand with the more than 40 ACC members and affiliates who have eagerly responded to our ambitious goal to raise $7.2 million in support of FOSSI in its inaugural year," stated ACC President & CEO Chris Jahn. "ACC and our members are committed to leading our industry in enhancing diversity in our facilities, our communities and nationwide."

ACC Board of Director's Chairman, Chemours President and CEO, and founding chair of FOSSI, Mark Vergnano, stated, "As lead sponsor of FOSSI, Chemours is thrilled to bring our Corporate Responsibility Commitment to action. It is with the support of organizations like these that we can have a meaningful impact on the future workforce of the chemical industry."

Nearly 1,700 high school students across the nation applied for FOSSI scholarships, and the 151 scholarship recipients represent 26 states, with students planning to attend 23 HBCUs.

Ashley Christopher, Founder and CEO of the HBCU Week Foundation, noted, "The incredible interest we saw from these applicants illustrates the need this scholarship fills within our black and brown communities. The excitement from recipients and their families as we've notified each student has been overwhelming, and we are looking forward to building and growing the program to reach even more scholars in the future."

In welcoming the new FOSSI scholars, June Wispelwey, Executive Director and CEO of AIChE, commented, "AIChE's commitment to FOSSI exemplifies its IDEAL vision of driving Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism, and Learning, which is embodied in our Foundation's All for Good: Engineering for Inclusion priority. Our leadership is ensuring that the success of both the FOSSI initiative and our FOSSI scholars will have profound impacts on the STEM professions. We are thrilled to be taking this active role in nurturing, inspiring, and building the future workforce."

To learn more about FOSSI, visit aiche.org/fossi.

About the American Chemistry Council
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $565 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is among the largest exporters in the nation, accounting for ten percent of all U.S. goods exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure. Learn more about ACC member company commitments to sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion here.

About the American Institute of Chemical Engineers
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is a professional society of more than 60,000 chemical engineers in 110 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities, and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontiers of chemical engineering research in such areas as energy, sustainability, biological and environmental engineering, nanotechnology, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at www.aiche.org. Detail about the AIChE Foundation's Doing a World of Good campaign and other programs is available at www.aiche.org/giving/. More about AIChE's IDEAL statement can be found here:  https://www.aiche.org/IDEAL.

About The Chemours Company
The Chemours Company (NYSE: CC) is a global leader in Titanium Technologies, Thermal & Specialized Solutions, Advanced Performance Materials, and Chemical Solutions providing its customers with solutions in a wide range of industries with market-defining products, application expertise and chemistry-based innovations. We deliver customized solutions with a wide range of industrial and specialty chemicals products for markets, including coatings, plastics, refrigeration, and air conditioning, transportation, semiconductor and consumer electronics, general industrial, mining and oil and gas.  Our flagship products include prominent brands such as Ti-Pure™, Opteon™, Freon™, Teflon™, Viton™, Nafion™, and Krytox™.  In 2019, Chemours was named to Newsweek's list of America's Most Responsible Companies. The company has approximately 6,500 employees and 30 manufacturing sites serving approximately 3,300 customers in approximately 120 countries. Chemours is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol CC.

About the HBCU Week Foundation
The mission of the HBCU Week Foundation is to encourage high-school aged youth to enroll into HBCU's, provide scholarship dollars for matriculation and sustain a pipeline for employment from undergraduate school to corporate America. The most impactful event during HBCU Week is the HBCU College Fair. HBCU Week Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization
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SOURCE American Chemistry Council

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