Intel and Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) Arizona, have just announced a new artificial intelligence (AI) incubator lab for students aspiring to get jobs in areas including business, nursing, healthcare, and other professions that increasingly draw on AI technology.

Being the first of its kind in the U.S., the new AI incubator lab and the associate degree program it supports, is stated to be built on Intel’s AI for Workforce program launched in 2020 at schools across the U.S., with the Maricopa district being the first to enroll students.

“We are committed to the re-skilling of the American workforce and to advancing diversity and inclusion to ensure that the next generation of technologists are prepared and provided opportunities for AI education,” said Michelle Johnston Holthaus, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group.

“Our goal is to make this program available in all 50 states by 2023. We are grateful for our partners, including Maricopa County Community College District, Dell and the State of Arizona for joining with us to help increase digital readiness of our future workforces.”

Located at Chandler Gilbert Community College, the new lab is claimed to be equipped with $60,000 worth of Intel-based platforms including workstations and open-source Intel AI software tools and expected to support courses that include Introduction to Machine Learning, AI for Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing and AI for Business.

“Within the last two years, we have been able to see our students gain new AI skills, and we are proud to have our first graduating class from the AI program this spring. This lab is critical to providing the necessary tools for their education, and we are appreciative of Intel, Dell and the State of Arizona for the designated space so our faculty and students can thrive,” said MCCCD Chancellor Steven Gonzales.

According to Intel, the incubator lab is now open to the 200 Chandler Gilbert Community College students currently enrolled in that program, which will further bring about the realization of its goal of helping the U.S. workforce learn new skills, to advance diversity and inclusion, and to help democratize emerging technologies like AI.