Best buy announced that it plans to open nine new Teen Tech Centers in 2017. The expansion will give Best Buy a network of 20 Teen Tech Centers nationwide.
Plans are already underway to open centers in Atlanta and San Diego early next year. The company is targeting additional urban markets, such as Las Vegas and Pittsburgh, as well.
The announcement came as Best Buy opened its newest Teen Tech Center in suburban Denver. It’s the last of four new centers to open this year, joining Dallas, L.A. and Oakland, California.
As part of the Denver opening, Best Buy introduced new curriculum that teaches students how to create original pixel art and animation, starting with the design of a character.
It will provide teens with skills that lay the foundation for potential careers as engineers, graphic designers, creative producers and architects. That curriculum will roll out to all Teen Tech Centers and Geek Squad Academy summer camps next year.
Since 1995, Best Buy has invested nearly $300 million in the communities it serves. For the past five years, the company has focused its support on programs that use technology to inspire and engage underserved teens.
The goal is to help them prepare for college and their future careers.In the coming decade, 77 percent of all jobs will require technology skills, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, there’s an opportunity gap for urban teens, many of whom lack tools like computers and internet connections or the skills to use them.
The Teen Tech Centers aim to address those disparities and turn potential into possibilities.