Jacob Martinez is in the process of creating Digital NEST (Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology), a Technology Workforce Development Center.
“The NEST will create economic equality for low income communities by educating and inspiring the future workforce,” says Martinez.
Digital NEST looks to revolutionize the way communities prepare youth and young adults for a workforce that requires them to have the skills to not only drive technological innovation but to diversify it.
The Digital NEST will not be a typical sterile computer lab but a hip, cool space designed with the same technology workplace principles found in our local companies like Nextspace and Cruzio, and Silicon Valley companies like Google and Apple. The idea of creating this space came to Martinez, after taking his students, year after year, on field trips to places like Google, Apple, and Mozilla. When students would get on the bus to go back to Watsonville, he would hear similar comments like “I want to work there” and “I want to stay involved with tech because I want to work at a cool place.”
“It was a simple idea,” Martinez explains. “If those workplace environment design models worked to inspire creativity and drive innovation for adults, why not apply those same principles to youth technology centers?”
Creating access to technology, providing technology education, having a safe space for youth, and sparking entrepreneurship is what the Digital NEST will accomplish when the doors open later this year.