PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead was the keynote speaker at the 32nd Annual Black Data Processors Association (BDPA) Conference July 31.
At the awards gala, the Navy was awarded the Epsilon award for best company with growing diversity.
The National BDPA President, Yvette Graham praised the efforts of companies around the nation for their contributions towards developing and sustaining a successful work environment in the information technology field and the involvement with young people for the future.
"We are very pleased to recognize the outstanding contributions that these companies have made for Blacks in Technology," said Graham. "It is important to recognize those exceptional companies that have provided African Americans with challenging and fulfilling career opportunities in Information Technology."
Roughead reiterated the importance for building the future leaders of our nation and the extraordinary efforts by BDPA supporting the young men and women in high schools and colleges around the country.
"We are really here to celebrate the achievements of young people of more than 20 teams that have come together to travel and compete in the competition an the IT showcase continuing and BDPA's long tradition of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education," said Roughead.
He emphasized the importance of a strong mathematical and scientific education and how it helps develop the skills the Navy needs to accomplish its mission.
"From our perspective in the Navy, early, sustained, and high-quality instruction and study in the 'hard sciences' will only grow in importance to our Navy and the nation more broadly," said Roughead.
CNO also discussed the role of diversity in the Navy and how it creates a stronger organization.
"Over the course of my career, I've learned firsthand the value there is in having people of different backgrounds, different experiences, working towards a common goal," said Roughead. "I see it as an absolute requirement if we are to take the Navy where it needs to go into the future."
Roughead concluded by highlighting the opportunities available in the Navy to those with a strong information technology background.
"We are interested in sustained recruitment of the nation's young innovators in science, technology, engineering, and math to add to the corps of experts in the cyber domain already receiving extensive training and education today," said Roughead.
BDPA, a national organization, is the premier organization for African Americans in Information Technology. Founded in 1975, BDPA is celebrating a 30-year commitment to closing the digital divide.
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