In the Works: A Nonprofit Tech School Where Students Will Attend for Free…

Original Article via Hayley Ringle, Phoenix Business Journal 

Brent Richardson, who helped build Grand Canyon University to what it is today, has plans to build a nonprofit school in the Valley for coding, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

The “new kind of school” would be built somewhere in the Greater Phoenix area, offering accelerated programs for free to students, Richardson said.

We’re hoping students will be hired by local tech companies and start new companies here,” said Richardson, a Scottsdale resident. “We hope to bring 2,000 jobs to the state.”

Richardson is close to signing a “tech pioneer” for the project, which would offer 12- to 18-month programs in various of tech careers, including gaming, drones and systems engineers.

“We’re hoping we can be part of the solution,” he said.

The school would be funded with company donations, and the plan is to open it in two years, he said. Richardson wants to model the new school after DigiPen Institute of Technology in Seattle, which offers degree programs in several subjects, including video game programming, computer science and computer engineering.

Richardson made the announcement Thursday night at the first DestechAZ networking dinner at the Camby Hotel in Phoenix. The event was designed to gather 200 local people involved in tech companies, tech training and tech legislation to work with each other.

“Anyone that touches tech was invited to help Phoenix continue to build the tech scene,” Richardson said. “We want to hold this dinner every six months to continue the dialogue.”

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