Tech Impact now has an official home in Wilmington

Based in Philadelphia Technological impact has been active in Wilmington with his It works workforce development program for a decade now. The program’s cohorts, made up of out-of-school, underemployed and uneducated adults aged 18 to 26, have so far gathered in rented spaces for classes that would propel 85% of them to computer workstations. fulltime.

It worked, but after years of impact in the city, it was time to find a permanent home for ITWorks Wilmington. They didn’t need much: classroom space, a conference room, a few booths for administrators.

The old one B&O station on the Riverfront, a 3,400 square foot building that was previously a A capital letter building – restored by ING DIRECT for its waterfront hub before that – was a perfect fit. The old two-story train station designed by Frank Furness is just the right size, and its location near the new Delaware State University building and CSC Station puts it right in the middle of one of the city’s most vital development areas.

Tech Impact Partner Barclays US Consumer Bank, whose head office is located on the riverside a short walk from the B&O station, supported the purchase with a $ 1.25 million grant, which included funding for renovations such as new paint , carpet and desks for students. The completed project is called the Tech Impact Opportunity Center supported by Barclays, with its official ribbon cut held on October 1.

While Barclays’ continued financial support has been critical to the success of the ITWorks program in Wilmington, the executive director of Tech Impact Patrick callihan points out that the bank does more than support it financially.

“Barclays is providing financial support to IT Works, so that young people who take our training program can take it for free,” Callihan said. Technically. “It’s important. But beyond that, they bring a ton of other supports – hours and hours of volunteer support, mentoring, soft skills training, maintenance workshops.

Students at the Tech Impact Opportunity Center in Wilmington. (Courtesy photo)

Jennifer cho, Citizenship and Community Relations Manager at Barclays, said his employees’ hands-on involvement with ITWorks is part of his company culture and commitment to workforce development.

“It’s really nice to be able to see the [the new ITWorks building] come to life, ”she said. “Our colleagues participate in this partnership, they organize sessions, interview workshops, etc. It makes working at Barclays so special.

Barclays has hired graduates from ITWorks into its offices, but its goal is to integrate people into the workforce as a whole, not just recruit people.

“We hope to employ around a quarter of a million people around the world by 2022 through our workforce programs,” Cho said.

For now, the ITWorks Fall Cohort is in full swing, with 18 students following a hybrid model that includes a few days a week in class and a few days a week remotely. The program has historically had two cohorts per year, but that could increase now.

Tech Impact’s increased presence in Delaware brings new partnerships and opportunities: it has just announced a merger with the Delaware Data Innovation Lab (DDIL) which positions DDIL as a division of Tech Impact, for example. The organization has also partnered with a technical training program Code differently and they’re about to announce details of a state grant that will focus on training underrepresented people in computer and technology fields.

“It’s really an exciting time to connect people to the [tech] market, ”Callihan said.

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