A new partnership that includes Google is underway in Manhattan, preparing young adults from NYCHA developments for technology jobs like computer coding, video production and web design. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
Young people are getting their feet wet using some editing software, perhaps a stepping stone to a career in digital media.
"Honestly, this program would cost a lot of money. I'm very appreciative of being part of this program," said Victor Liriano, a resident of the Elliot Houses.
Called Tech Up, it's a tech lab run by the more-than-120-year-old Hudson Guild in what had been a dark, dingy storage area inside the New York City Housing Authority's Fulton Houses in Chelsea.
"This really shows what we can do throughout the public housing inventory to convert underutilized space for the benefit of the community," said Michael Kelly, general manager of NYCHA.
The goal of Tech Up is to give teens and young adults in the Fulton, Chelsea and Elliot Houses a leg up when it comes to their futures.
"It's the kind of technology skills that anyone of us needs in order to be successful in the workplace in whatever chosen field," said Ken Jockets, executive director of the Hudson Guild.
Organizers cut the ribbon Thursday on the new space, made possible by NYCHA and some Chelsea neighbors, property managers Jamestown and tech giant Google, which provided the technology needed for these young people to learn. A multimedia nonprofit called The LAMP developed the programs.
"They are building their digital portfolios so that they can carry those to potential job interviews, and they are learning skills that are really going to allow them to enter this field that these students otherwise wouldn't be encouraged to do so," said D.C. Vito, executive director with The LAMP.
"The young people who use this studio will be able to express themselves with computers and a microphone. That's right: it's a recording studio. And maybe the next number one pop hit will be recorded in this room."
"What we find in computer science, if you want to teach kids to code, you have to show them that it's fun. So you do projects involving music or art or game-making," said William Floyd of Google.
That fun can lead to work in the tech sector, where the Department of Labor estimates there will not be nearly enough trained candidates to fill all the jobs over the next five years.
"These are great high-paying, middle-class jobs that New Yorkers can fill," said NYC Chief Technical Officer Minerva Tantoco.