A new report released Wednesday by the Center for an Urban Future and Tech:NYC, entitled Plugging In: Building NYC’s Tech Education & Training Ecosystem.finds that Brooklyn is home to significantly more education and training programs that prepare New Yorkers for careers in technology than any borough other than Manhattan.
However, according to the analysis– the largest sample collected to date– the city’s network of tech training and education programs have striking geographic disparities and capacity challenges– gaps in accessibility that limit the effectiveness of the city’s efforts to diversify the tech workforce and develop a pipeline of local talent.
Brooklyn is home to 23 percent of the city’s 467 adult tech training program locations, placing it behind Manhattan (45.0 percent), but ahead of Queens (20.3 percent), the Bronx (10.7 percent) and Staten Island (1.1 percent).
But only four of Brooklyn’s 18 Census-defined neighborhoods have just one program location: Brownsville/Ocean Hill, Bensonhurst/Bath Beach, East Flatbush/Farragut/Rugby, and Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights. Two other Brooklyn neighborhoods have just two adult tech training sites: Brighton Beach/Coney Island and Williamsburg/Greenpoint.
One neighborhood—Brooklyn Heights/Fort Greene—is home to more than 40 percent of all adult tech training programs in the borough. Brooklyn Heights/Fort Greene has 43 sites offering adult tech training programs, the most in Brooklyn and third most citywide—behind only Soho/Battery Park City/Greenwich Village with 60, and Midtown/Chelsea with 5).
Other findings in the report:
- Only one other Brooklyn neighborhood has more than 7 sites offering adult tech training programs—Bedford-Stuyvesant (with 12). Park Slope/Carroll Gardens/Red Hook has the third most adult tech training programs (7), followed by Prospect Heights/Crown Heights North (6), Sheepshead Bay/Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest (6), Prospect Lefferts/Wingate/Crown Heights South (5), Bushwick (4), Borough Park/Kensington/Ocean Parkway (3), Flatbush/Midwood (3), East New York/Starrett City (3), and Canarsie/Flatlands (3).
- Park Slope/Carroll Gardens/Red Hook leads Brooklyn with 28 sites offering K-12 tech education programs. This is the third most citywide—behind only Soho/Battery Park City/Greenwich Village (with 34) and Midtown/Chelsea (32). Brooklyn Heights/Fort Greene has the second most K-12 tech education programs in the borough (with 17), followed by Williamsburg/Greenpoint (16), Sunset Park/Windsor Terrace (15), Bushwick (8), Prospect Lefferts/Wingate/Crown Heights South (7), Brownsville/Ocean Hill (5), Brownsville/Ocean Hill (5), Flatbush/Midwood (5), Borough Park/Kensington/Ocean Parkway (4), and East New York/Starrett City (3).
- Six of the 18 Census-defined neighborhoods in Brooklyn have two or fewer sites offering K-12 tech education programs: Bensonhurst/Bath Beach and Sheepshead Bay/Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest each have none; East Flatbush/Farragut/Rugby and Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights both have one, while Canarsie/Flatlands and Prospect Heights/Crown Heights North each have two.
Most of the tech training programs for low-income adults around the city focus on basic digital literacy and beginner-level skills, and only a fraction offer in-depth, career-oriented training that can bridge into tech careers. Furthermore, where more in-depth tech skills-building programs do exist, they only serve at most a few dozen to a few hundred people a year.
Most of the tech training programs for low-income adults focus on basic digital literacy and beginner-level skills, versus career-oriented training that can bridge into tech careers.
The report calls on city leaders to commit to a bold, long-term agenda to expand and improve the tech skills-building ecosystem, backed up by a significant new public investment. Among the report’s policy recommendations is an investment to ensure more working adults can train for opportunities that exist today.