TechTown Foundation is moving from Market Street, where it had been located in a $2.5 million TechTown Global facility, to the Edney Innovation Center.
CEO Cordell Carter recently stepped down to pursue other opportunities, and Chris Ramsey has taken over to lead the foundation, whichwill focus on creating local partnerships to encourage regional youth to get into science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
Leaders will focus on equipping the up-and-coming workforce with the education and tools needed to thrive as future leaders.
They will work with children ages 7 to 17 through hands-on instruction and state-of-the-art technology. And the organization will host camps and after-school programs for students.
Ramsey said he wants to work with area school systems both by having students come to the organization’s new space in the Edney Innovation Center and by going out to local classrooms.
It isn’t always easy or practical for teachers and students to come downtown, so TechTown leaders will be spending about half their time in area schools, he said.
“We are an extension of the classroom,” he said.
Although the new space in the Edney will be smaller than the Market Street location, Ramsey said that the organization will still have the tech equipment to help students learn everything from robotics to film to software editing.
“We will not lose all of the core services we provide,” he said.
Much of the space in the Market Street location isn’t being used, he also said.
And by being in the Edney, students will be exposed to entrepreneurship firsthand.
The location in the Innovation District also allows for collaboration with businesses, individuals and other organizations in the area in mutually beneficial relationships. For example, TechTown rents out studios, which could be used by local entrepreneurs who need video work done, Ramsey said.
“That’s what a lot of the staff is excited about,” he said. “It gives our students the opportunity … to be a part of that [entrepreneurial] ecosystem.”
Updated @ 12:14 p.m. on Feb. 21 to correct factual errors: This article originally stated that TechTown Global had dissolved and that it was changing to a nonprofit model. The nonprofit TechTown Foundation has existed since 2015, and TechTown Global still exists.