This past month, we focused our workshops on the fundamentals for professionalism, Team NEST won Rookie of the Year in the Human Race fundraiser, and, Digital NEST hosted Santa Cruz County’s first Agriculture Technology Meetup, to standing room only.
An hour away from Silicon Valley, agricultural Watsonville has the makings of a tech hub. Next to its berry and lettuce fields, startups are building robots and mobile apps to aid farmers. Digital NEST, a nonprofit teaching technology to youth, hosted Santa Cruz County’s first Ag-Tech MeetUp, modeled after the popular New Tech MeetUps held monthly in Santa Cruz.
Tony Hill Award-winner Jacob Martinez founded Digital NEST (Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology) in Watsonville, in the hopes of closing the gap between available academic resources and technology know-how. The NEST hopes to create technology centers in vulnerable communities all over California as it has in Watsonville, where the impact has been almost instantaneous.
Digital NEST is getting attention because they are tackling tech’s demographic problem. Silicon Valley is reliant on imported tech workers, and only about 25 percent of people who work in tech are women. To top it off: minority groups — like Latinos — are disproportionately underrepresented.
A group of Rotary Club of San Lorenzo Valley members paid a short visit to the Digital Nest in Watsonville. Jacob Martinez gave them a tour and overview of the Digital NEST. They hope to take advantage of what the students can do there with setting up a Facebook presence for the club. Read the full article »
Read this story about UCSC alum Jacob Martinez (Oakes ’04, evolutionary biology) and how and why he founded Digital NEST, a hip technology learning center in Watsonville designed to help young people from rural areas master high-tech skills.
On the Central Coast, there are some special programs in place to prepare potential employees for jobs in the high-tech world, not just locally, but across the globe. NextSpace and Digital NEST set out to bring people together and provide job training, provide referrals and build a local economy around technology.
March marks the start of Spring, so in honor of the season (Winter seems to be more honorary than actual this year anyway), Digital NEST is getting active. This month we’re getting ready to run in the Human Race and hosting career skills-building workshops.
Huffington Post explores how Digital NEST is tackling tech’s demographic problem. By bringing in local 15-to-24-year-olds, encouraging young women to join, providing a safe place, contemporary computers, software, and workshops, Digital NEST aims to change the face of technology. Martinez sums up Digital NEST as a “Technology center that is removing barriers that youth face on the pathways to their careers.”