Butterfield Introduces Legislation to Improve Technology at HBCUs

Mar 7, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DCCongressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01), senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today introduced the Building Resources into Digital Growth and Education (BRIDGE) Act of 2019 (PDF iconH.R. 1586).  Butterfield announced his bill during the Second Annual HBCU STEAM Day of Action on Capitol Hill.  This annual event brings together education and industry leaders and Members of Congress for a collective day of advocacy for our nation’s more than 100 HBCUs and their 300,000 students.


The BRIDGE Act amends the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act to establish a digital network technology program that awards grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts to HBCUs and other eligible institutions.  These grants would allow Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to acquire equipment, networking capability, hardware and software, digital and wireless networking technology, and infrastructure to improve the quality and the delivery of educational services of these institutions.


Congressman Butterfield released the following statement announcing the bill:


“There are more than 100 HBCUs throughout the country, and we want them to continue serving as centers of excellence in our communities for generations to come.  The U.S. will need an estimated one million more STEM professionals by 2022 to keep up with workforce demands.  My legislation will expand the opportunities available to HBCUs to ensure the students they serve are prepared for tomorrow’s innovation economy.  I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee and the bipartisan HBCU Caucus who share my commitment to strengthening our HBCUs and giving our students the resources they need for success.”


HBCU STEAM Day of Action will explore the key role HBCUs play in building a diverse and inclusive tech and healthcare workforce.  HBCUs produce more than one-third of all African American STEM degrees and more than 47 percent of African American women engineers.  Congressman Butterfield, a graduate of North Carolina Central University and a senior member of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, will participate in this important dialogue and help the House Committee on Energy & Commerce review ways to strengthen investments in HBCUs and its students.  Members will be joined by representatives from health and tech industry companies who will share how their organizations are building strategic and sustainable partnerships with HBCUs and their students.


PDF iconView the text of the BRIDGE Act here