Media Coverage: Three local centers providing free STEM learning courses

Aug 11, 2021

By: Nate Doughty | Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times |

Community development organization Neighborhood Allies and Verizon Inc. have teamed up to launch three learning centers in Pittsburgh that aim to provide skill-based STEM learning and resources for children and adults.

Set to launch within the next year, the three centers will provide K-12 students with STEM education, and adults will be able to partake in digital literacy training. High school-aged students and adults will also be able to take part in workforce development and entrepreneurship learning opportunities.

“Neighborhood Allies’ commitment to advancing equity and economic inclusion in Pittsburgh means ensuring that all residents have expanded opportunities to succeed,” Presley Gillespie, president of Neighborhood Allies, said in a release. “In partnership with Verizon, we are striving to close the digital divide that exists along socioeconomic and racial lines by providing the access, knowledge and training needed to enter into tech-based careers.”

Two of the centers will be housed in collaboration with YMCA and the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)’s Homewood-Brushton Center locations, with one being established for children and the other for adults. The third location will be determined in the coming months.

Programming will be provided by the Homewood Children’s Village, YMCA and CCAC in addition to other local providers. All courses offered at the centers are free of charge to eligible applicants.

“Now more than ever, it’s imperative that under-resourced communities have the skills and access to technology they need to be prepared for today’s digital workforce,” Alex Servello, Verizon’s director of corporate social responsibility, said in the release. “Together with Neighborhood Allies, Verizon is deepening its investment in the local community by creating physical spaces which offer members of the community access to STEM education, workforce development, and digital literacy with the goal to help prepare youth up to adults for jobs of the future.”

Registration is now open for fall programming at Courses will cover topics that range from coding and video game design to robotics, 3D printing and other digital literacy skills.

Top Header Image Photo Credit: Prototyping Larimer Stories by artist John Peña, photo by OPA