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The Future is Now: Technology, Digital Skills Training for Teens and Young Adults

NEW HAVEN, CT —The Arts and Education District and New Haven Public Schools celebrated the official launch of the NHPS Skills Academy, a year-round initiative that democratizes access to digital careers and skills 21st century lifestyle for dozens of high school students and young adults. .

The event, held at the nonprofit’s New Haven campus, featured New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker and members of the city’s Economic Development Administration to see firsthand the impact the program has on local youth.

Over the next decade, one billion jobs, or almost a third of jobs worldwide, are expected to be transformed by technology. According to a recent Connecticut Business and Industry Association survey, nearly 40% of Connecticut employers cited a lack of necessary skills and expertise as the top challenge in finding qualified young workers.

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The NHPS Skills Academy is designed to help students develop the skills, experience and mindset needed to succeed after graduating from high school. This includes instilling tactical STEM skills that will enable participants to get a head start in the higher education process, get entry-level IT jobs, or start their own micro-business.

“Community-centered education is key to enabling us to develop a more diverse and inclusive technology landscape,” said AM Bhatt, Founder and CEO of DAE. “The opportunity to help reverse a decades-long trend of drastic underrepresentation in tech careers is just as important to us as developing the tech workforce. Nurturing the ground now, with NHPS and the City of New Haven, we are cultivating our community for long-term, lasting positive impact.”

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The NHPS Skills Academy provides a foundation in digital life with an immersive 12-month software engineering track. There are currently 50 students enrolled in the program, which is open to all juniors in the district as well as those working toward their GED through the New Haven Adult & Continuing Education Center. The inaugural class began in January and will complete the program at the end of December.

“New Haven public school students deserve every opportunity to prepare for careers in any industry of their choice,” said Superintendent Dr. Iline Tracey. “We also want them to be ready for jobs in emerging fields here in the City of New Haven and the State of Connecticut. We are proud that this partnership with DAE demonstrates the value and importance of exposing our students to technological disciplines.

A 2021 pilot program, funded by CT Next and the New Haven Innovation Collaborative, laid the foundation for the NHPS Skills Academy. The collaboration is also supported by the Mayor’s Office and the City of New Haven Economic Development Administration.

“It’s no secret that the demand for skilled tech workers exceeds the current supply and that the demand will only increase over the next decade. Young people trained to do these jobs will find a market full of opportunities when they graduate; with growth potential,” Elicker said.

“New Haven students are fortunate to have an education program of this caliber so close to home. I would like to thank AM Bhatt and District Arts & Education for making New Haven home to this visionary program and for working with Superintendent Tracy and New Haven Public Schools to launch the NHPS Skills Academy.I also want to thank CT Next and the New Haven Innovation Collaborative for laying the groundwork and helping the City fund the 2021 pilot program. “

NHPS Skills Academy students learn and create several websites and mobile apps over the course of the year, ultimately creating a portfolio to showcase their abilities in future projects. Emphasis is also placed on research, design and product development, as well as the components of digital life, including human-centered design, social change, ethics and digital data, careers and collaboration in a digital world. Classes are held at DAE’s New Haven campus twice a week after school with an optional lab day and will increase to five days a week in July and August.

“We are thrilled to offer our students this opportunity to explore software engineering,” said Ivelise Valazquez, NHPS Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. “We hope some of them will be inspired to pursue further education in technology fields. technology.”

“At DAE, students have space to move, explore, push boundaries, express themselves authentically, and build things they are passionate about,” says Kyley Komschlies, Secondary Education and Community Manager. “If we want our young people to not only succeed, but be able to create positive change in the systems we all live in, we need to give them the opportunity to explore their interests and surprise themselves with what they are capable of. . create.”

DAE is located at 470 James Street in New Haven and can be reached at (203) 401-8768 or by visiting For the latest news and updates, follow @DistrictArtsEdu on Facebook and @dae_nhv on Instagram.

About DAE (District Arts and Education)

DAE is a Connecticut nonprofit organization that provides educational programs that democratize access to 21st century digital career and life skills for high school students and young adults from historically and systemically underresourced communities. Based in New Haven with an additional location at Synchrony Skills Academy in Stamford, DAE trains world-class technologists through technical and professional training and certifications that serve as a catalyst for transformation. Youth programs emphasize hands-on development in a collaborative and stimulating environment, while the DAE Adult Skills Academy offers a four-month immersion in software engineering. Balancing both content and context of learning, DAE strives to develop human beings who are technologically savvy and deeply human-centered. For more information, visit

New Haven Public Schools

New Haven Public Schools educate 20,000 students. Their mission is to provide all students with personalized, authentic and engaging learning experiences through high quality instruction. Their vision is to be a leading urban school district that ensures access to equitable opportunities and successful outcomes for all students as they prepare for college, career, and life. For more information, visit

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