Invest Newark and the Urban League of Essex County unveiled technology training and education resource center The Tech House on Sept. 30, powered by the Newark Fiber program, for community members to learn 21st-century skills and to help bridge the digital divide.
Invest Newark’s technical partner GigXero installed Newark Fiber, which is a program that offers Gigabit and 10-Gigabit internet connections in residential and commercial buildings in need, at The Tech House, which is set to open this fall.
Together, Invest Newark and the Urban League announced their plan to identify strategic locations in the Fairmount Heights community of Newark’s West Ward to serve as hubs to deliver high-speed, low-cost internet connectivity to locals.
“The high-speed internet access and tech education provided at the Tech House have the potential to change the lives of countless Newark residents,” said Mayor Ras Baraka in a prepared statement. “By offering these services, we are providing Newarkers the opportunity to learn necessary skills to enhance their careers and invest in their future. We are grateful to Invest Newark and Urban League of Essex County for their commitment to bringing this resource to the Newark community.”
The Tech House is in a remodeled 19th century 10-room Victorian house located at 152 Littleton Ave. The Urban League converted the building into the tech hub for it to be a model for future projects.
“Since our founding in 1917, the Urban League of Essex County continues to fight on many fronts to secure the rights and liberties of African Americans and other disadvantaged minorities. And in a world shaped and propelled by rapid advances in technology, no fight is of greater significance in the 21st-century than the digital equity and inclusion of the constituency we serve,” said Vivian Frasier, president and CEO of Urban League of Essex County.
“We are committed to working with the City of Newark and Invest Newark to construct a fiber optic infrastructure in Newark’s most underserved communities that will enable the Newark residents receiving specialized technology training at the Tech House to compete on a level playing field,” Frasier said.
The Tech House will provide computer literacy training to Newark residents; serve as a professional development center for teachers interested in enhancing their knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, or STEAM, and other forms of digital technology; and provide college students pursuing tech education with hands-on experience teaching STEAM skills to middle and high school students to prepare them for a future in college and workforce.