Target co-founds new tech training center

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Target is partnering with Minneapolis-based vocational training school Summit Academy OIC in an effort to advance racial equity in IT employment.

The new North Star Innovation Center (NSIC) will lease Target’s space in the Regional Acceleration Center in North Minneapolis. The center will serve as a learning and training center for Black students and students of color preparing for careers in IT. Through that work, as well as programs in fields like construction trades and healthcare, Summit Academy serves nearly 1,000 adults each year, providing tuition-free education and training.

Supporting the NSIC is part of Target’s investment in its local community and in promoting racial equity. Over the past decade, the retailer says it has invested more than $11 million in the North Minneapolis area, working with local partners to help build wealth and create new opportunities in the community. 

In June, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Target pledged an investment of $10 million and ongoing resources in efforts to advance racial equity, both in Minneapolis and across the country. The discount giant is also providing 10,000 hours of pro bono consulting services for Black-, Indigenous- and people of color-owned small businesses, helping with rebuilding efforts in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Customers have the option to direct Target funds to organizations supporting social justice through the Target Circle loyalty program.

“We’ve invested in North Minneapolis to support a strong quality of life for families in the neighborhood, and the Regional Acceleration Center is an important part of that investment,” says Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target. “With its expertise in helping Black families and other residents overcome social and racial inequities, Summit Academy is an excellent community resource. We’re proud to welcome them to the RAC and to work together to advance racial equity in our hometown.”

"The North Star Innovation Center will be an inspiring and transformative place where Black men and women will build new opportunities for themselves and their families," says Louis King, Summit Academy OIC's president & CEO. "Alongside Target and the Northside community, we're taking action against racial inequity. Thousands will have their lives changed at the North Star Innovation Center, as it's a tangible, real, concrete way for us to create a better future, where people of all races can do something to help themselves and to help others. This space will be a place where people demonstrate that the best social service program is a job."