Too often teens growing up in poorer neighborhoods in Louisville lack the access to the skills and training they need to fill competitive job openings in the local tech industry. Additionally, businesses in this community need to increase their web presence and better connect to online tools to grow their business.
Beech Technologies helps address two persistent problems for our community:
African-American unemployment - Among African-Americans in Jefferson County, the unemployment rate is 18.3 percent overall and among African-American males under 25, the unemployment rate is 36.4 percent.
Unfilled High-Tech Job Openings - Currently, the Louisville Metro area has more than 1,700 technology job openings. Salaries start at $45,000-$60,000, often with no degree necessary.
In addition, many small businesses in the area near Beecher Terrace have no web presence, which puts them at a competitive disadvantage in terms of reaching potential customers.
What was the problem?
What is the solution?
Mayor Greg Fischer previously expanded the Code Louisville program to target teens living in public housing and help them develop 21st century technology and business skills. Students from the new “Coding at the Beech” program have already transformed their skills into a new business venture, called Beech Technologies, which helps neighborhood and community business leaders establish and maintain a web presence to drive economic growth. Through this initiative, Mayor Fischer has helped prepare students for jobs in the tech industry and helped revitalize the communities where these students live.
Mayor Greg Fischer helped create Beech Technologies, where the oldest employee is just 18 years old. When Fischer learned how dedicated the students participating in the Code @ the Beech program were, he wanted to “shorten the timeline between gathering skills and getting a paycheck”. So with the help of the J. Graham Brown Foundation and Access Ventures, among others, he brought this startup into his popular SummerWorks program that employs high schoolers during the summer.
Each of the employees makes minimum wage and works 30 hours a week. They also profit-share when they sell their services to clients. Not only are they continuing with their coding education, but they’re also learning entrepreneurial skills from mentors throughout the community. Beech Technologies’ $99-a-month base subscription provides clients with a custom domain and website with up to 20 pages, e-commerce, social media presence, tech support and more.