In Camden, Bridging the Skills Gap Means More Than Tech Training

by Issie Lapowsky
Oct 24, 2017 6:00 PM ET
Lucas Valentine, 22, and Caloua Lowe, 19, both came to Hopeworks in need of a paycheck. What they got, in addition, were the technical and emotional skills they needed to prepare for the future workforce. ISSIE LAPOWSKY/WIRED

Originally published by WIRED

Caloua Lowe bounds up the rickety, worn staircase of a three-story, red brick building in Camden, New Jersey on a sunny September morning, the wooden steps creaking under the pressure of her red-sandaled feet. The walls display framed, Photoshopped images: a mockup of Vogue, album covers featuring young men standing shoulder to shoulder with rap legends like Jay-Z. They were designed by the roughly 1,200 youths who, like Lowe, have come here over the years to learn Photoshop, HTML, Javascript, and other skills that could land them jobs in the tech industry some day.

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