Bits and Pieces Technology Group, Inc. under contract with NC A&T State University Leadership Empowerment, Apprenticeship, Diversity in Information Technology (LEAD-IT), provided over 70 young people from 6 counties in Northeastern North Carolina an introduction to a variety of computer information technology based skill sets that could influence their future occupational choices. This project was committed to the notion that opportunities should knock on every door no matter how humble the household. Northeastern NC has been the poorest region in the state for the last 25 years, and Washington County, the fifth poorest county in the state. The major goal of this project is to stimulate development of a technology culture in Northeastern NC, and specifically Washington County, that will ensure that neither will be left behind as technology becomes the economic engine of the state and nation.
Participants in the NENC Technology Workshops were provided with both exposure to, and experience in computer information technology fields of study that are sure to be foundational in their world of work, no matter the career choices. Visits to the Dell Corporation, as well as a tour of NC A&T State University were both introductions to Mainframe computing and data warehousing. LEAD-IT has provided participants not only a vision on which to build goals, but cultural exposure to enrich LEAD-IT champions’ personal development. If they do not see it, they cannot dream it!
The Workshop participants were offered computer information technology training specifically designed to stimulate their interest in technology as possible careers. These included web design, MS Word, MS excel, MS Powerpoint, and MS Access, Google Computer Science First Video Game Design which utilizes Scratch, an entry level coding language. The project also included technology related small business development, motivational lectures, and soft skills related to work readiness in various fields of technology.
The fall curriculum of ten junior and senior participants in the Washington County Workshop will include computer information technology courses of study at Beaufort County Community College. They could result in Certifications in Computer Hardware and Troubleshooting, Cyber Security, and Networking Support upon graduation. This pursuit was precipitated by their participation in the NC A&T NENC Summer Technology Workshop.
A website, currently under development will connect the LEAD-IT Champions from all counties involved. The website will enable them to exchange games they created during the summer, provide information concerning scholarships, internships, apprenticeships, and access to a variation of blogs that participants will offer for presentation on the website. It will also offer monthly chats with technology corporate officials. Websites, developed by participants will be featured on the LEAD-IT Champions’ Website. •