Fruitvale Village

Google to Open Oakland Tech Education Center

Google plans to groom the next generation of Black and Latino tech leaders with its new Code Next lab, slated to open in Oakland, California this fall.

The center is a joint venture between the tech giant and MIT Media Lab, with the aim of training local residents in technology and entrepreneurship, USATODAY reports.

According to the San Francisco Business Times, the lab will operate out of a space in Oakland's Fruitvale Transit Village, a 255,000-square-foot complex near the Fruitvale BART station.

In addition to programs for local adults, the lab will offer an after-school program for middle-school students.

"It's incredibly exciting to have Google's presence in the Fruitvale," a busy and highly visible spot, giving students passing by a window into high-tech they normally would only get in Silicon Valley, Claire Shorall, manager of computer science for the Oakland Unified School District told USA Today.

Blacks and Latinos make up over half of Oakland’s residents and Google is one of many tech companies creating a presence in the area amid criticism of a lack of diversity.

"We like to say that as Oakland becomes more tech, we need to make sure that tech becomes more Oakland," Freada Kapor Klein, partner at the Kapor Center for Social Impact and founder of the Level Playing Field Institute, told USA Today. "We are always happy to see tech companies engaging the community. Oakland is the future of tech, and any company would be smart and lucky to tap into these students' genius. There is a lot for both sides to teach each other."

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