Nonprofit geared toward getting women and people of color into tech field opens in Newark
A nonprofit geared toward teaching technology to women and communities of color has come to Newark.
Jerelyn Rodriguez says that it is never too late to shift gears, especially in one’s career. She went from being a filmmaker to being a teacher. She now ensures that women get a seat at the table when it comes to the tech world.
“I have a responsibility to make sure that I’m providing opportunities for Black women – for brown women,” she says.
Rodriguez is the co-founder of The Knowledge House, a nonprofit organization geared toward teaching women and people from low-income communities to get jobs in the technology industry, like coding and designing.
“We prepare them to flourish in the tech economy and we place them in fulltime tech jobs,” she says.
The Knowledge House has been up and running in the Bronx since 2014 with the help of donations and grants. Rodriguez says that the need to expand became clearer at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She says there was a growing demand for people to fill technology jobs.
“We want to make sure that low-income people especially have access to the innovation economy, because the tech jobs are high paying. They’re not going anywhere and they’re fail-proof during COVID,” Rodriguez says.
She says in 2020 applications to the program have doubled. They tripled in 2021.
Newark is home to just one of the newest offices for The Knowledge House. Newark residents and others can get training in digital skills.
“We’re seeing that the more diverse businesses are, the better they produce,” Rodriguez says. “And that’s because people of color are using these products that are being made by technologists. So why not make sure that there’s a pipeline of technologists that are getting into these engineer roles and creating the products that we use every single day.”
Applications to The Knowledge House are currently on its website.