Jackson State University, the historically Black educational institution in Mississippi, will become the nation’s first HBCU to enter into a mentor-protégé agreement with the Shared Services Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The partnership will provide Jackson State University with training and tools to become a major business contractor.
The goal of the collaboration is to position the university as a competitive prime contractor in the future. University personnel will receive training for developing competencies in gross strategy and marketing assessments; business development planning and strategy; capture management; and all aspects of program/project management.
Joseph Whittaker, associate provost at Jackson State University, explains that “this is a game-changer. As a university, our job is not just to leverage knowledge, capital and capability of faculty in terms of scientific power, but we must be able to market our capabilities. It’s essential that we learn how to create business development practices and engage stakeholders outside the university.
“The mentor-protégé arrangement will train and help us to cultivate a business strategy for the future,” Dr. Whittaker added. “This will also help Jackson State University’s corporate and business development side so that we know how to market our capabilities and play in the same space with companies and corporations.”