PACE History

The History of the Program for Acceleration in Careers of Engineering

The PACE Youth Development Corporation offers a unique youth development program called the Program for Acceleration in Careers of Engineering (PACE). PACE utilizes a volunteer staff of local engineers and professionals in pursuit of its mission to educate and inspire high school aged youths towards excellence in careers of engineering and science. PACE students have the opportunity to spend up to four years interacting with experienced engineers and scientists from local companies and talented peers from other area high schools on a weekly basis, while engaging in a challenging curriculum of study.

The PACE concept was first conceived and implemented in 1982 by Members of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories and members of the National Technical Association (NTA), the oldest African-American organization of its kind. The founders were Wayne Brown, Ted Butler, David Hill, and Michael Sanders. They sought to design a program geared to expose, educate, and inspire more African-American high school students to opportunities available in engineering. The first site for PACE was established at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey. The success of the program led to an expansion of the program to serve more students  and open new PACE branches. In addition to the Brookdale site, the program has been offered at sites in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York.