HOUSTON, November 7, 2020 (Newswire.com) - On Saturday, Nov. 7, Comp-U-Dopt, along with TC Energy, the TC Energy Foundation and other philanthropic partners, celebrated the re-opening of the Comp-U-Dopt facility and launch of the TC Energy Tech Hub (Tech Hub) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a community computer distribution.
Comp-U-Dopt, a nonprofit providing technology access and education to underserved youth, has provided over 17,000 computers to families without access to a device during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, building on its recent service to the community and its 13-year history of closing the digital divide, Comp-U-Dopt is opening the Tech Hub thanks to a US$200,000 donation from the TC Energy Foundation. This space will allow Comp-U-Dopt to deliver high-quality, hands-on, technology education programming to hundreds of students in the Houston area.
Technology education is a critical third pillar defining the digital divide and must be included in any long-term solution to closing the gap. “We know that by providing not only the tool but the training students need, we are enabling them to see a new path forward and help to create the next generation of innovators,” says Megan Steckly, Comp-U-Dopt CEO. “The support from TC Energy and other philanthropic partners in this project directly ensures more youth have access to programs that align to high-demand careers and a bright future for our communities.”
Approximately 90% of jobs require digital skills, and more than 40% of current workers cite having a significant technical skills gap, yet fewer than half of U.S. high schools teach computer science. For students from economically disadvantaged families, the technology skill gap is wider because of a lack of regular access to quality programming. When students are given access and exposure to technology and technology education, the tools for discovery become their own and learning can extend beyond the classroom.
“Our donation to Comp-U-Dopt demonstrates our commitment to education and job training in the communities where we live and work to create a future workforce that is diverse and skilled,” said Stan Chapman, Executive Vice-President and President of U.S. and Mexico Natural Gas Pipelines, TC Energy. “Houston is an important city to TC Energy; it’s our U.S. headquarters and home to many of our valued workforce. We are committed to supporting initiatives that create a vibrant and resilient community.”
Comp-U-Dopt anticipates serving thousands of students in their new Tech Hub. It will offer students the opportunity to build confidence in using new technologies, learn how technical skills apply across industries, and develop a portfolio aligned to high-demand careers.
Following all CDC recommendations and the advice of local government, Comp-U-Dopt hopes to have the first class of students experiencing the Tech Hub in early 2021.