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Truman College Adds Hub For CPS, City Colleges Students To Bridge Racial Divide In Tech

Truman College's new technology center is bringing state-of-the-art equipment to more students and teachers.

Heather Leigh Maher, professor with Truman College, demonstrates the school's new technology hub.
Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
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UPTOWN — A new technology center at Truman College is meant to help students and teachers bridge the digital divide.

The Innovation One: Technology, Training and Resource Center debuted this week at Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave. With help from Apple, the center will seek to improve students’ access to technology and prepare them for jobs in the growing tech sector.

Students and teachers from City Colleges of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools can use the tech center, which includes a training lab, equipment library, podcast studio, media screening room and a “discovery bar” where students can tinker with products.

There are also satellite locations of the hub at Olive-Harvey College in Roseland, Kennedy-King College in Englewood and Arturo Velazquez Technical Institute in Pilsen.

Credit: Provided
A new podcast studio at Truman College’s Innovation One technology hub.

Officials at Truman received a grant from Apple’s Community Education Initiative to equip the center with Apple products and technology.

CPS classes will be able to take field trips to the tech center, and teachers can rent products for use in the classroom, said Truman President Shawn L. Jackson.

The idea for the center is to create a community hub where access to technology and the training to use it is equitable and approachable, Jackson said.

“We need to create a learning community that can change the opportunity landscape of this city,” he said.

Tech firms are increasingly choosing Chicago for their offices, city officials said at the center’s unveiling Wednesday. Yet the information technology workforce is largely white and male.

Among U.S. software developers, just 4 percent are Black, 5.3 are Latino and 19 percent are women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With greater access to technology and training, more Chicagoans can work in this growing field, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

“There’s not one job I can think of, a good paying job, where technology isn’t at the heart of it,” Lightfoot said. “We’ve got to give our residents full access to all the incredible opportunities that the tech industry provides.”

For more information about the Innovation One tech center, click here.

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