Unlike California’s booming tech industry, which has its own home base in Silicon Valley, New York’s technology community has led a mainly nomadic existence. That, however, is about to change as a new 254,000-square-foot facility is in the works and expected to break ground in 2018.
This massive workspace, dubbed “14th @ Irving,” will act as a central point for both technology training and networking while helping fresh startups get off the ground. Educational organizations like General Assembly and Coalition for Queens will work with tech innovation center Civic Hall to recruit young talent and teach essential skills required for the information technology industry.
Information technology is a vast and varied field, encompassing hundreds of different types of jobs from software development, to network administration, to web design. At the rate technology is advancing these days, there’s no doubt that these job markets will only continue to grow. Right now, for instance, 87% of businesses are operating in the the cloud, a resource that didn’t even exist until about a decade ago. Now cloud equipment is expected to be worth over $79 billion by next year.
“The idea is to create a fully integrated innovation hub at the crossroads of New York City’s central innovation district that would allow all New Yorkers to develop digital skills and engage,” said Andrew Rasiej, Civic Hall founder and CEO.
According to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, business leaders are experiencing a lack of skilled workers to fill their open tech positions. Glen and Rasiej both hope to see these jobs filled by local talent.
“There are a lot of great kids at Harvard, but there are really great kids at Queens College,” said Glen. “If we can make sure [local students] have not just technical skills, but can get in the door at Etsy, at Goldman, at Facebook — they’re going to perform.”
She went on to add that investments like 14th @ Irving are “not only good for business but good for the kids who are here and deserve a chance.”
The facility will include classrooms and meeting spaces on lower floors as well as office space for young companies to occupy across the dozen or so higher floors. New York-based startup food and beverage vendors will occupy the street-level space.
Tech industry professionals predict that up to 50% of the country’s conference rooms will be video enabled by the year 2020, but it’s probably safe to say that this facility will already be equipped with this tech and more.