Jersey City officials recognize labor needs, diversity gap in technology at Hour of Code event

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Jersey City Public Schools, in partnership with Open JC, took part in the global Hour of Code, empowering tens of millions of students in over 180 countries by introducing them to computer coding.

State Sen. Sandra Cunningham, Council President Rolando Lavarro, and Jersey City Board of Education President Sangeeta Ranade were among the long list of elected officials who showed their support for the Hour of Code, which is part of an effort to close the diversity gap in technology fields by introducing more minorities and girls to coding earlier in their education.

Jersey City Schools Superintendent Dr. Marcia Lyles spoke about her efforts to improve computer science in public schools, including issuing every child at MS 40 a chromebook, to prepare students to be both consumers and producers of technology.

Ward E Councilwoman Candice Osborne, who works full-time as a computer programmer, spoke about the shortage of technical skills in the US labor market which causes employers to outsource jobs to foreign workers.

Finally, Councilwoman-at-Large Joyce Watterman said the hour of code was a way to “bridge the gap” and create jobs to empower families and communities.