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Power Up Tech Fair works to connect community to growing job market

The tech fair will bring in companies and nonprofit organizations like Fathom, Soletics, GR Current and Emerge West Michigan. Attendees will have a chance to not just learn more about the field but to network with tech leaders.
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Community leaders Jonathan Jelks and AJ Hills IV have collaborated to organize the "Power Up" Technology Fair, set for Tuesday, July 21 at the Baxter Community Center. They have coordinated to help expose aspiring entrepreneurs, young people and minorities to emerging technology fields and the jobs they create in Grand Rapids.

“This community event is important because technology and tech related companies will increasingly make up more of the workforce of the future. The citizens of Grand Rapids need to be aware that the manufacturing jobs that once built and sustained the middle class, during the automobile boom that will never fully be restored. The jobs of the future will require a different skill set than what was required for our grandparents. Building awareness about what the future will look like and connecting people directly to the organizations and companies making things happen in West Michigan will help people better prepare themselves and their children to take advantage of these opportunities,” says Jelks.

This event will showcase forward thinking businesses and nonprofit organizations that serve and employ the citizens of West Michigan. These include companies like Fathom, Soletics, GR Current and Emerge West Michigan.

“Grand Rapids is a city of silos. In order for our city to become the world class community it aspires to be, we need to be intentional about making sure people from all different backgrounds can share in our new found success. The fact that Grand Rapids ranked in the top 100 worst places for African Americans economically should be an embarrassment. And code red warning that there needs to be an intentional movement to empower underserved and underprivileged communities,” says Jelks.

“Women are also criminally under-represented in technology fields across the country. Through education and exposure we can change these unfortunate facts. In Grand Rapids we have an opportunity to empower people by organizing and introducing them to things happening that they may not know about. This Tech Fair is just the beginning. It's a bridge to our communities future, and I want that future to be open and accessible for all,” Jelks added.

Attendees will have the opportunity to talk with and ask questions of local tech businesses and nonprofits, meet local tech leaders and network. People of all ages and backgrounds are invited to come and learn about how they can get connected and capitalize on the Grand Rapids's creative economy.

The event is ponsored by Empower Michigan, Endless Opportunities  and GR Current.

The event is free to the public, beginning at 6 p.m., at 935 Baxter SE.

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