National Action Network opens Newark tech academy

The National Action Network officially opened NAN-Tech World at 400 Hawthorne Ave. in Newark Tuesday.

It’s touted as a 21st century, transformational institution for the Upper Clinton Hill area. Tech World will offer free courses in web design, graphic design, digital literacy, networking and more.

In conjunction with local universities and nonprofits, Tech World serves as a high tech locus for the city.

“If we do not bring a generation up that is very literature in terms of using the technology of the day and we are rendering them to be unemployed, that’s why the partnership with Tech World is important,” said National Action Network Founder Rev. Al Sharpton.

The solution is to create a 21st century community learning centers that bridge the digital divide by providing technology rich after school academic enrichment opportunities for Newark students including literacy and related educational development programs for Newark job seekers and families.

“We hope to be able to expedite training for our residents in the city of Newark and surrounding communities, with Cisco certification, virtual reality and 3-D printing,” Chairman of the NAN NYC Chapter Technology Committee and Tech Academy Director Lord Dowdell said.

“I had no technical background, nothing. I was looking for a job fresh out of the military. Now, I’ve applied these military skills, I feel like I’m ahead of my peers, but I can also teach my peers and bring them up with me at the same time,” academy graduate Marquise Knott said.  “I’m proud, I went away for four years, I’m proud Newark is turning around.”

Tech World is a collaboration of various local stakeholders responding to the White House’s bold multi-sector initiative and call to action to upskill Americans to rapidly train workers for a well-paying tech job, often in just a few months. This extends the current efforts of Mayor Baraka’s Office to empower Newarkers and meet the talent needs of local businesses.