For nearly a year, community and business leaders have worked to create a community technology hub at the Sabatani Community Center in south Minneapolis, a center that serves young people living in George Floyd Square at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue.
The technology center is expected to open in October and is said to provide training and connections to local children to pursue careers in technology. It houses computers, a stadium, virtual and augmented reality technologies, a music studio and a space for creativity.
Smart North, a nonprofit in the Twin Cities founded in the wake of Floyd's death by tech entrepreneurs and business owners to advance digital literacy and equity in communities of color across Minnesota, advanced this core idea.
The group is building a similar technology center on the Deer River near Leech Lake Preserve to help indigenous peoples.
Entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, technologists and members of the business community explored the Technology Center in the Twin Cities on Saturday as part of a weeklong series of events designed to help businesses grow in their early stages.
"This technology center is really a place where kids can learn to imagine alternative futures in a psychologically safe space, and then have access to tools and guidance," says co-founder Will Preble. . and Smart North board member at Eterna Media and CEO in a panel discussion prior to a visit to the Technology Center.
With the help of corporate and civil partners, Priebel added, the goal is to give children a way to use these skills in the "real world."
Committee members say the center will put young people in south Minneapolis on a path to earning six-figure salaries.
The center targets people between the ages of 12 and 24, said Tayo Daniel, founder of Smart North and Eterna Media.
Smart North plans to mobilize these youth in technical support roles, helping seniors and small business owners in the George Floyd Square neighborhoods. They will also learn how to create and sell their own non-perishable tokens or NFTs.
"We want people here to learn," Daniel said.
According to Daniels, Smart North is raising $500,000 to pay for equipment such as 3D printing machines, staff and food for those using the center.
According to US News, cybersecurity analysts and software developers are among the most in-demand and best-performing jobs in the United States overall. Over the next 10 years, 47,100 jobs will be created for cyber analysts and 410,000 software developers. The average annual salary for these jobs is between $104,000 and $110,000.
“Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing industry,” said Nick Schneider, CEO of Arctic Wolf, an Eden Prairie-based cybersecurity company and Smart North community partner. .
"As companies like Arctic Wolf continue to invest in talent centers outside of Silicon Valley like Minneapolis, the talent pool will grow as candidates have the opportunity to stand out and join the growing community," Schneider said.
Software engineers and Internet analysts are the most important technology occupations in Minnesota. However, according to the Computer Technology Industry Association, only 5 percent of the state's technology workforce is made up of people who identify as black or Hispanic.
"The value of investing in an underserved talent market is immeasurable. It not only opens the door to solving acute skills shortages, but also democratizes high-tech job opportunities in previously marginalized regions."
According to Daniel, the Smart North Technology Center used the advice of the local youth to develop the project. Last year, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Commission Commissioner Alicia Smith, also executive director of the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization in South Minneapolis, held hearings with youth living near the Sabatani Community Center.
Organizers hope the center will provide a refuge for a younger generation dealing with the trauma of Floyd's police killing in Minneapolis, the devastation and disruption of their neighborhoods in the wake of Floyd's death. Education. Global pandemic
"We have to open the door," Smith said. Our task is to open the door and receive.