The RTPark has taken on exciting new projects this summer. We saw the growth of the second cohort of Accelerate VI participants over nine weeks, we launched the VI Stem Kids program in partnership with the Caribbean Center for Boys and Girls, we grew the pipeline of business attraction partners to continue developing a tech ecosystem, and we initiated the Tech Village project, just to name a few. All of these efforts support the RTPark’s mission to develop current and future talent in the USVI and build a resilient tech ecosystem. We’d like to use the final blog post for the summer to discuss the RTPark’s vision for the future.
Due to recent challenges faced in the Territory, and the world, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are more dedicated now than ever to developing and maintaining economic resilience for people in the USVI. Brookings reported the pandemic resulted in the highest ever unemployment since the Great Depression. By May 22nd, the pandemic led more than 40 million people to file for unemployment in the mainland US alone. While the USVI had relatively few cases of the virus compared to the mainland US, the Territory’s economic dependency on a few niche industries makes us more susceptible to the financial shocks that typically accompany tragic world events like COVID-19. To aid in bolstering our economy, the RTPark will continue to nurture an adaptable workforce with a diverse skill set.
Beyond the pandemic, the drastic weather changes and dangerous hurricanes show us the importance of remote and highly technical work. By developing a workforce that can do more remote work, we can mitigate the job losses that typically occur due to these sudden disasters.
In addition to the added resiliency we gain from a diversified economy, cultivating a thriving tech ecosystem opens up vast and exciting opportunities for the USVI. Data and technology play an increasing role in our day-to-day lives and in the global economy. All Virgin Islanders can be a part of this innovative and creative industry without leaving the territory. The USVI has the opportunity to create its own unique version of the tech industry, and the RTPark is working tirelessly to help support and develop it to be successful.
Thank you for enjoying these posts with us this summer. If you want to participate in any of the RTPark’s programs or learn more about the work that we’re doing, please reach out at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!