A future-ready workforce depends on students mastering as many technology, cybersecurity, and computer science skills as possible, said Tammy Buckner.
The founder at CTO of Techquity Digital, Buckner joined forces this fall with Dr. Phillip Hickman, author and founder of PlaBook, to launch WeCodeKC — a no-cost, year-round program built to promote computer skills through monthly sessions for ages 7 to 17.
“We incorporate 21st Century skills — the ‘4 C’s’: Communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity,” Hickman said. “Robots can mimic and have automation of every skill, but right now, creativity [is the only skill that cannot be recreated.]”
WeCodeKC is made possible by tech gifts from corporate donors like Fishtech Group, AdamsGabbert, Dunn Construction, Community Builders, Synetic Technologies, Initiatives, Inc., and Feist Foundation, he added.
“They either donated money or laptops,” Hickman said. “Now our students can have a high quality and high class learning experience for free.”
Going beyond the typical classroom, v also is building a robotics team for children, he said.
“Leading with an all-girls robotics team and then growing out our guys robotics team, we have an all-around good environment for students to learn in and it is something that they are getting for free,” Hickman said.
Next up: WeCodeKC plans to craft a new program vertical for those older than 17.
“We are building out an ‘urban shore,’” said Buckner. ‘I know a lot of companies go offshore to look for development work, but we basically want to bring that home … You can find that same type of talent in the urban community.”
“We are focusing on [age] 7-17 right now, but we eventually want to build that out to young adults to ages 17-30,” she added.
“We want to make sure that we develop a workforce that doesn’t stop in Kansas City, but spreads talent all the way around,” said Hickman.
Click here to learn more about the next WeCodeKC class.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.