Promoting Tech Skills in Upper Manhattan

Clayton Banks Co-Founder and CEO of Silicon Harlem. (Photo by Adi Talwar via City Limits)

From Harlem to Inwood, entrepreneurs and planners are hoping to boost the high-tech profile of Upper Manhattan with education initiatives, the creation of tech centers, and community engagement, reports Amelia Spittal in City Limits. Although some residents worry that the efforts might promote gentrification, the high-tech proponents insist that a key part of their effort is to “strengthen and benefit the lives of the existing residents, not push them out,” writes City Limits.

The for-profit social venture Silicon Harlem, for instance…

… is opening an “Innovation Center” to support the development of tech companies, particularly social ventures that improve the local economy, and hosts monthly, quarterly and annual gatherings that create opportunities for tech-based businesses to collaborate with one another as well as engage with experts and the public sector.

Silicon Harlem also runs a youth academy to develop STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills as well as STEM-field career training for adults. Says Clayton Banks, co-founder and CEO of Silicon Harlem:

“The entire world is becoming digitized and tech-driven.” (…) “The jobs of the 21st century are going to require a level of STEM background. So it is critically important that young people are not left behind by not having exposure to STEM.”

Go to City Limits to read about more initiatives in Harlem, as well as the ideas that Council member Ydanis Rodriguez has for how to promote tech knowledge and skills in Inwood.

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