On April 1, Camden-based Hopeworks celebrated the grand opening of the new Burton R. Cohen Technology Center located adjacent to its headquarters offices. The development and construction of the center were made possible thanks to a contribution from The Burton and Mindy Cohen Foundation with support from David and Jane Hummel. In addition, small, regional technology businesses and friends of Hopeworks, Cory Communications, Ancero and TG Communications have also partnered to provide technical support for the center.
The new Burton R. Cohen Technology Center will provide a supportive coworking space to young professionals that train with the nonprofit and continued support for Hopeworks alumni, while they work remotely or grow their small businesses.
In addition to the use of the space and equipment within, the center will also be a place where these young professionals will gain access to continued education and training needed to further their careers including technical training from Amazon, Google IT and other training providers, as well as professional workshops and networking opportunities.
“We are so thankful to the Burton and Mindy Cohen Foundation for making this additional space and enhanced resources available to our young professionals and alumni,” said Dan Rhoton, executive director of Hopeworks. “The ongoing virtualization of work provides a tremendous opportunity for Camden in the form of our youth and alumni who are being hired at increasing rates in this past year. However, finding stable and professional working environments continues to be a challenge for many. With this new space and the additional training and networking, we will be able to provide invaluable opportunities to these young professionals, as they progress in their careers.”
In the last six months, Hopeworks has launched or expanded partnerships with Comcast, Linode, SEER Interactive, Subaru of America, Elsevier, the Entrepreneurs Organization and Indy Hall to provide mentoring, interview support and professional skills development.
Each quarter, the Burton R. Cohen Technology Center will host professionals-in-residence, where industry professionals will work from the space and mentor the youth as they develop skills during their first months as professionals.
“As a focal point for our charitable giving, educating young people has always been a top priority for us. Hopeworks serves young adults who have great potential but little opportunity. It’s a place that teaches young people the skills that can earn them a middle-class wage with the added value of having a productive and self-satisfying life. Altering the cycle of despair and poverty is the goal for our Foundation,” said Burton Cohen of The Burton and Mindy Cohen Foundation. “Mindy and I have had a blessed life. It is our desire to open up opportunities for those who seek to find their place in life. It’s rewarding for us to support those students who advance their prospects through individual effort.
“Hopeworks is such a place where opportunity is available and where students, who recognize the opportunity can seize it,” Burton continued. “In finding your place in life, there is no substitution for education. As Hopeworks has successfully demonstrated, each person is responsible for the outcome in their lives. Education is the platform, but individual initiative fulfills the promise. We want these young people to succeed.”