The Kloiber Foundation

Hack the Hood

Recently on NPR a segment aired bringing attention to a major disparity in the tech industry concerning employee diversity and how some non-profits in Silicon Valley are addressing the issue. One entity called Hack the Hood attributes the overwhelmingly white and male workforce at Google and Facebook among others to a lack of exposure for young blacks and Latinos.

Kloiber Foundation has found that same problem exists here in Fayette county to an extent. In talking to several of the local schools populated mostly by Hispanic and African-american students, the administrators face a lack of exposure to technology for their students. The concerns we’ve heard aren’t so much that they don’t have time in the day or funding for computer science or coding classes, their concerns are more basic. Many of these schools simply don’t have enough hardware available to provide any more than the most cursory exposure for these kids. Knowing how to interface with a computer via typing, logging in, using e-mail, safely browsing the web, are all simple tasks that become next to impossible when you have six hundred students and thirty computers.

In a world where so many depend on basic computer skills to hold a job and make a living, many of these kids are late in developing those skills. They are later than many of their non gap group compatriots who will also later be their competition in the job market. We applaud the Hack the Hood project and other non-profits for recognizing this disparity and enacting programs to address it.