Youth Web Design Program
website development training
Real Industry Skills Training at No Cost
The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle has partnered with the Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) to introduce the Youth Web Design pilot program! This initiative provides an opportunity for Black youth to learn website design — at no cost — by connecting with local minority-owned businesses to establish and/or improve web presence.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the growing economic disparities for youth and small businesses, especially for Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities.
The pandemic instantly reduced or eliminated funding for youth career opportunities and internships. For small businesses, Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order forced some businesses to reduce operations or close to stop the spread of the virus, greatly impacting small businesses’ revenue and customer base.
In response to the pandemic, many BIPOC-owned businesses that have historically provided a community space recognized that they must pivot to an online space to continue serving and connecting with their community.
The Youth Web Design pilot’s goal was to build community wealth by developing talent among youth and increasing small business resiliency, so that both youth and small business owners can thrive.
During the pilot, Garfield High School students met with small business owners to understand their needs and received necessary training from industry experts to create websites.
“By investing in the Youth Web Design pilot, the City of Seattle is providing a skillset and unwritten mentorship,” said Robert Jones, ULMS’s Education Director. “This program provides the insight, the opportunity, the mentoring, and training for our youth. This will enable them to compete for higher paying jobs and allow them the ability to live wherever they desire in this city.”
In this partnership, ULMS recruited 16 Black-youth and designed a 6-week curriculum that included web design training, Wix skill certification, consulting with Black small businesses owners, and a stipend for their work.
OED identified 16 Black-owned small businesses that were interested in website support. In addition, OED funded the program through their Youth Workforce Development and Key Industries investments. At the beginning of 2021, youth participants will present their finished products to the City, business owners, and friends and family.
“We’re thrilled by the success of the Youth Web Design pilot. This pilot supported both Black-youth who are looking to make their first step in a career in technology and Black-owned small businesses pivoting in this pandemic,” said Anisa Khoshbakhtian, OED’s Technology & Media Industry Advocate. “It’s important to note that building a pipeline into the technology industry was already difficult pre-COVID. This program posed an opportunity for us to essentially create jobs and career developing work experiences for youth of color instead of being solely dependent on the local industry to provide that. As a department we saw the necessity in youth receiving compensation for their work since they created professional websites for businesses.”
The Youth Web Design program will continue into 2021 with two additional cohorts. Applications for interested Black-owned small businesses located in Seattle will open in early 2021.
In the meantime, please fill out the interest form below and we will connect with you!
For questions about this program and corporate partnership opportunities, please contact Anisa Khoshbakhtian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions about student participation, requirements, and additional program benefits for student families, please contact Robert Jones at email@example.com.
“I love what this program stands for and how it helps the youth in learning to design websites while paying them for their work. This is also important because it helps them value their own work and gain self-confidence. I actually have a 14-year old brother who attends Garfield High School, and this is exactly the kind of technology-focused programs he loves to participate in. We look forward to working with the youth in creating our website, and I hope that this program continues next year so that my little brother and more of his peers can be part of it.”
Participating Business, Owner of Mama Sambusa
Real skill building. Real businesses. Real experience!
Take a moment to meet the first cohort of the ULMS Youth Web Design program! Students in this program worked hard to establish a web presence for 16 local business by learning how to building custom websites for each business.
Our students learn
“Students need an outlet. They need a competitve edge. They need to be creative. They need to be able to fill their time up with good things and I think this program allows all of our students to use their artistic flare and design something that will really help a local business owner.”
Participants & Finished Work
Here you’ll find a list of participating businesses from Cohort 1 and the finished websites completed by our students!
Join our next cohort as a participating business!
If you have a minority owned business that is based in King County and would like to participate in future cohorts, we’d love to hear from you! Please complete the following interest form and a member of our team will connect with you.