Santa Cruz Tech Beat


$250K Will Help Bring Digital NEST to Salinas

By Ana Ceballos
Monterey County Weekly

March 10, 2016 — Salinas, CA

(Photo above: Digital NEST, well on its way to opening in Salinas, focuses on giving youth ages 12 to 24 high-tech skills training. Source: Monterey County Weekly)

The city of Salinas has budgeted $50,000 to help in the venture, and two anonymous local donors have each pledged $100,000.

Salinas city officials have long hoped to transform the Salinas Valley into an ag tech hub, but to make it happen, future generations need more access to technology and education in that field.

To assist with that goal, Digitial NEST, a Watsonville-based nonprofit, offers high-tech and professional skills training including coding, graphic design and videography for youth. The nonprofit helps place them in paying jobs and internships at local companies, wants to open in Salinas—and it’s close to securing the $200,000 it needs to make it happen.

The city of Salinas has budgeted $50,000 to help in the venture, and two anonymous local donors have each pledged $100,000.

Founder Jacob Martinez predicts Digital NEST could open early in 2017. Before finalizing plans, Martinez wants to make sure the local community would welcome such a project. “I am not from Salinas,” he says. “I’m going to be the last person to tell the city and its community what it needs.”

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