One of the biggest names in Indiana's technology sector has launched a nonprofit designed to develop industry-ready talent in elementary and high schools. Scott Dorsey, an ExactTarget co-founder who currently serves as chairman of the Indiana Sports Corp., says Nextech will partner with educators, the business community and Code.org to bring “world-class” computer science curriculum to Indiana schools. Nextech, created by the reorganization of the ExactTarget Foundation, will also work with employers to help students gain hands-on experience. April 13, 2015
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Technology pioneer Scott Dorsey launched Nextech today, a nonprofit focused on developing the next generation of high-tech talent through education programs, workforce development and corporate partnerships.
The ExactTarget co-founder and former chairman and chief executive launched the new organization by unveiling plans to bring computer science curriculum to Indiana high schools in academic year 2015-16 through a groundbreaking partnership with global computer science education leader Code.org.
“We have a huge opportunity in our state – fewer than 20 percent of Indiana high schools teach computer science, while career opportunities in software and technology are accelerating at an extraordinary pace,” said Dorsey, Nextech chairman. “Through our innovative partnership with Code.org, Nextech will bring world-class computer science curriculum and teacher development to K-12 schools throughout the state – at no cost to the schools.”
Nextech will announce its inaugural class of participating schools on May 12.
In addition to bringing computer science curriculum to Indiana classrooms, Nextech will launch additional programs that bridge the gap from classroom learning to real-world application. The organization plans to announce partnerships with technology employers and nonprofits later this year to enable students to experience careers in technology first hand.
“Nextech has a bold vision to positively transform the lives of students and our economy by inspiring and enabling young people from all backgrounds to pursue careers in technology,” said Karen Jung, executive director of Nextech. “Education is the foundation for transformation, and together we will make it a reality by connecting students, educators and business leaders with learning that extends from the classroom to the workplace.”
Code.org forecasts there will be one million more computing jobs than computer science students by 2020, creating a more than $500 billion opportunity in the U.S. alone. In Central Indiana, the total number of technical jobs is projected to grow by 27 percent compared to approximately 15 percent for all other occupations by 2025, according to EmployIndy's Hire Up initiative. Despite the projected growth, only 29 of Indiana's 525 high schools offered AP Computer Science in 2013-14.
“We're thrilled to partner with Nextech to give every student in Indiana the opportunity to learn computer science,” said Hadi Partovi, co-founder and chief executive officer of Code.org. “Technology is revolutionizing every industry and field of science. Nextech's leadership is a huge benefit for Indiana's students and for the opportunities they'll find in their future.”
Nextech was created by reorganizing the ExactTarget Foundation as a public charity under a new name, organization and mission. Founded in 2011, the ExactTarget Foundation was the private philanthropic arm of digital marketing technology giant ExactTarget. From its inception through 2014, the foundation awarded organizations more than $410,000 to reduce childhood hunger, increase education and fuel entrepreneurship.
Nextech is a supporting organization of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, a $720 million public foundation. The relationship enables Nextech to provide additional technology-related resources to schools, students and communities while supporting CICF initiatives to improve educational attainment and self-sufficiency.
Nextech is a nonprofit with a passion to narrow the widening gap between computer-related jobs and the number of individuals pursuing them. By connecting educators, nonprofits and entrepreneurs, Nextech delivers educational programs and work-based learning experiences to inspire and enable students from all backgrounds to pursue careers in technology. For more information, visit www.nextech.org.