Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation is excited to open the Robot Lab Powered by Switch. The Robot Lab is made possible by a significant grant from Switch to the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation to support technology equipment for the new robot lab and STEAM education programming, preparing our youth to be successful in the technology economy future. The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District has been a national leader in developing new learning environments that grow the literacies of today’s economy: coding, robotics, digital media production, problem-solving, team building, peer learning, and service innovation thinking. The Library Foundation is supporting free weekly robotics classes for teens and tweens on a variety of robotics and coding applications. Both Switch and the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation share an interest in seeing local youth successfully pursue careers in high-wage technology occupations. Today the region is starting to see a gap in the local ability to fill high-tech jobs that are open in fields of transportation, materials handling, health, and manufacturing.
"We know that coding is the key tool of the automating economy. This Robot Lab gives local youth free access to coding instruction and a collaborative "tinkering" environment in the neighborhood where they live and go to school,” said Keiba Crear, President of the Library Foundation. “Youth in this neighborhood already experience a double-digit unemployment rate while the rest of the region enjoys full employment (4% unemployment). We are excited to see how we can get local youth on the path to employment and careers that earn good wages. We welcome the partnership with Switch because its talents will shape our region's future.”
The Robot Lab Powered by Switch aligns with Switch’s focus on STEAM education and provides opportunities for more young minority and female students to find the pathway to technology careers of the future.
“The rapid pace of changing technology requires that we provide hands-on experiential learning environments that are focused on STEAM education to prepare our youth of today for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Betsy Fretwell, SVP of Switch CITIES. “We are so pleased to provide this grant in partnership with the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation to ensure that new jobs are filled with a truly prepared workforce.”
“Employment in the Vegas Valley is changing quickly and one of the biggest changes relates to robotics, with over 65% of local jobs expected to automate in the next five to ten years, and this program aligns with creating the talent needed for the tech future,” said Cedric Creer, Las Vegas City Councilman. “I am very excited about what is happening at the West Las Vegas branch library which has become a lively hub of activity after school. They host homework help from CCSD teachers along with free access to 3D printing, virtual reality, and gaming technologies. The Robot Lab Powered by Switch is a place where local youth are learning the networking, team-building, and problem-solving skills that will make them valuable in the workplace."