Invest Newark – Newark’s Economic Development Corporation – has partnered with the Urban League of Essex County at The Tech House to aid in their mission to create a technology training and education resource for the surrounding community and those seeking the skills to compete and succeed in a 21st century global economy. Invest Newark’s technical partner, GigXero, has installed Newark Fiber at The Tech House, which will open in the fall, bringing high-speed, low-cost internet service to Tech House program participants. Beyond the Tech House, Invest Newark and the Urban League will identify strategic locations in the Fairmount Heights community of Newark’s West Ward that will serve as hubs to deliver high speed, low-cost internet connectivity to working class residents.
Invest Newark aims to bridge the digital divide and increase broadband access throughout the city. Fast and reliable internet access is essential to empowering traditionally disenfranchised communities. As such, Invest Newark is expanding Newark Fiber in various places throughout the city, including public-housing and public schools, and now the Tech House.
“The high speed internet access and tech education provided at the Tech House have the potential to change the lives of countless Newark residents,” said Mayor Ras J Baraka. “By offering these services, we are providing Newarkers the opportunity to learn necessary skills to enhance their careers and invest in their future. We are grateful to Invest Newark and Urban League of Essex County for their commitment to bringing this resource to the Newark community.”
“Invest Newark believes in providing residents with access to opportunities to better their lives and help close the wealth divide. We are thrilled to partner with Urban League to equip the Tech House with Newark Fiber as access to high speed internet and tech education is an essential step towards empowering the Newark community,” said Bernel Hall, President & CEO of Invest Newark.
The Tech House will be in a 19th Century ten-room Victorian house located at 152 Littleton Avenue, Newark, NJ. The Urban League of Essex County converted it into a technology training and education resource facilitated by Newark Fiber for disadvantaged residents of the Fairmount neighborhood with plans for it to be a model for future projects.
“Since our founding in 1917, the Urban League of Essex County continues to fight on many fronts to secure the rights and liberties of African Americans and other disadvantaged minorities. And in a world shaped and propelled by rapid advances in technology, no fight is of greater significance in the 21st century than the digital equity and inclusion of the constituency we serve. We are committed to working with the City of Newark and Invest Newark to construct a fiber optic infrastructure in Newark’s most underserved communities that will enable the Newark residents receiving specialized technology training at the Tech House to compete on a level playing field,” said Vivian Frasier, President & CEO of Urban League of Essex County.
The Tech House will also provide computer literacy training to Newark residents, serve as a professional development center for teachers interested in enhancing their knowledge in STEAM and other forms of digital technology, and provide college students pursuing tech education with hands-on experience teaching STEAM skills to middle and high school students to prepare them for entry into college and the high-tech workforce.
The Tech House is powered by Newark Fiber, which is an innovative program that offers Gigabit and 10 Gigabit internet connections in participating residential and commercial buildings, recreation centers, parks, streets, and eventually in single family homes. The Newark Fiber program builds on the City of Newark’s fiber optic infrastructure delivering an unparalleled internet experience to startups, large corporations and apartment residents. Not only is Newark Fiber bridging the city’s digital divide, it is also creating a national model for providing high-speed internet to communities in need.