Just a quick note to let you know what we are up to.

A few weeks ago Tech Collaborative STL came to life on Shaw Avenue on The Hill in St. Louis. Our mission is to help local youth bridge the digital divide with tech literacy through partnerships with the business, tech, education, government, and workforce sectors.

We have been surveying the St. Louis employers who have been hiring youths from STL Youth Jobs  during the past summers about the tech skills they look for in the workplace. We have also been working with organizations who provide youth employment and opportunities, trying to focus on these youth’s specific tech knowledge needs.

Our plans so far include a two week, 80 hour summer training session that covers basic IT (hardware & connectivity) and basic coding; a four hour (multiple evenings or weekend) workshop on specific tech skills; and an all day, 8 hour code marathon (from drag-and-drop to text based programming).

We have been exploring the model of using a microcomputer (the Raspberry Pi from Cambridge in the UK) to teach tech and inspire our youth to become digitally literate, a necessity for career success.

And we have been learning the ins-and-outs of philanthropy and grants-funded community service. In all these endeavors, our hosts have been the Incarnate Word Foundation and The Dana Brown Charitable Trust, both heavily committed to enhancing employment opportunities for St. Louis youth. We owe special thanks to Bridget Flood and our office mates on the 3rd floor of the Mercantile Fair Building; they have introduced us to the heart of St. Louis’ philanthropic community and made us feel very welcome indeed!

Bill Stanard



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