By Bill Parry
Coalition for Queens is getting some major funding from leading technology, philanthropic and public supporters. The non-profit, based in Long Island City’s Falchi Building, fosters the Queens Tech ecosystem to increase economic opportunity and transform the borough into a leading hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Google, Reddit, Blackstone, Verizon and Capital One are among the companies behind a $1.75 million grant that will be used to expand C4Q’s computer programming course, Access Code, and expand its existing entrepreneurship and urban planning initiatives. The Access Code program is uniquely designed to provide adults from non-traditional and low-income communities with the skills and resources to learn mobile development and gain well-paid jobs in tech.
“C4Q offers computer programming training that opens career opportunities in tech and entrepreneurship to our talented students, bringing them from poverty to middle class in the process,” C4Q Founder Jukay Hsu said. “Creating economic mobility via our tech education is something we can quantify: our average graduate income goes from $26,000 to $73,000 a year.”
The Federal Economic Development Agency, with the support of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), also joined in providing a grant.
“The high-tech industry and its jobs are critical to the future of the Queens economy, and this type of smart, job-creating investment now will pay huge dividends in the future for these communities,” Schumer said. “With federal funding, matched with local and private funding, C4Q can move immediately to the next phase of their strategic plan, which will include building support and executing on recommendations like expanding high-tech education programs and improving access to broadband.”
Access Code 1.0 taught iOS mobile development and raised average income from $26,000 a year to $73,000 a year by helping graduates gain new tech jobs. Building on this success, C4Q is launching Access Code 2.0 this spring by expanding its program to Android.
“As the world’s most diverse community, Queens has the opportunity to contribute incredible talent from all social, economic and cultural backgrounds,” C4Q Board Chairman Elias Roman, the co-founder and CEO of Songza, said. “This investment helps C4Q’s scale the wonderfully successful Access Code program, and speak to the national dialogue surrounding the need for more economic mobility and inclusion in tech.”
C4Q is currently looking for the best and brightest mobile developers, educators, urban theorists and entrepreneurs who are passionate about technology and economic mobility. More information is available at https://c4q.nyc/jobs as C4Q continues to expand the Queens Tech ecosystem.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr