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Exxon Mobil Corporation and the National Society of Black Engineers announced a new award to recognize university programs focused on retaining minority engineering students.

The Diversity in Engineering Impact Award, funded by a $40,000 grant from ExxonMobil, will acknowledge universities that have developed innovative and successful retention programs targeting African American, Hispanic American and American Indian students pursuing degrees in engineering.

Three universities will be awarded $10,000 each in September to support their efforts and provide recognition to encourage other universities to duplicate or develop their own retention programs. The application process will begin in May.

Miami Art Museum will hold its 13th annual free Family Festival on Saturday, April 10, 2010, from 1-4pm. Themed “A Crazy World of Color,” this year’s festival celebrates Carlos Cruz-Diez: The Embodied Experience of Color (March 19 through June 20, 2010), an exhibition of interactive light installations.

A variety of free art activities, performances and games will take place on the Cultural Center Plaza outside the museum, including the creation of a “Colossal Curtain of Color,” inspired by the Cruz-Diez exhibition, a performance by the juggling variety show “Bounce, Ooo LaLa and Daniel,” and a presentation by “Kids Love Mother Earth,” a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing children’s appreciation and understanding of the earth. Indoors, education staff will lead family-friendly exhibition tours where children can create their own version of Cruz-Diez’s art through a computer-based installation. The MAM Family Festival, presented by MetLife Foundation, is free to the public.

Responding to the desperate need for new and expanded port infrastructure to serve earthquake recovery efforts, as well as to address the long-term shipping needs of the country, Haiti-based WIN Group and South Florida-based Sante Holding today announced having reached an agreement to re-develop Terminal Varreux, S.A. in Port-Au-Prince, the largest privately-owned shipping terminal and port facility in Haiti.

Representative Calvin Smyre (GA), President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, applauds the signing of the HIRE Act into law and issues the following statement.

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators wholeheartedly supports this new commitment to create job growth and lay the foundation for an economic recovery. The HIRE Act represents the first major job creation measure undertaken in over a year to combat the economic woes facing the country. The legislation includes a $17.6 billion package to incentivize the hiring of persons who have been unemployed for a period of 60 days. Specifically, the bill provides a payroll tax holiday that exempts employers from the 6.2 percent social security payroll contribution for employees hired in 2010. It also allows for a $1000 tax credit for each new employee retained for 52 weeks. Additionally, the legislation contains a measure to incentivize investments in new equipment by allowing a direct write-off for purchases up to $250,000.