COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Since 2018, a group of Black entrepreneurs and leaders in Columbus have worked to bridge the gap between careers in technology and people of color through an organization called Black Tech Columbus.

“What has really led to the amount of success that we’ve had in such a short time is the fact that we are, as an organization, able to reach and connect with and speak to Black people in a way that organizations have traditionally failed at or really struggled to do,” said Jariatu Mansaray, executive director for Black Tech Columbus.

Mansaray said the organization has served more than 1,000 people of color in central Ohio, and is now working to serve even more thanks to a $115,000 community grant from the Columbus group known as Justice Vault.

“That money is super impactful, right, because as an organization, we’re pivoting, or not necessarily pivoting but evolving into being, more of a resource for the community, more so than just a source of the community,” Mansaray said.

She said the funding would go toward tearing down financial barriers for Black students or workers to enter the industry and would allow them to fund and foster local Black talent to be part of Intel’s workforce here in Ohio.

“Right now, is a very pivotal time for Columbus, Ohio to intentionally invest in communities that have historically been either left out or just not included in those plans,” Mansaray said. “And so I think the investments that we make here in the next couple of years will make a drastic impact on what the technology landscape looks like in the central Ohio region in the next five to ten,” Mansaray said.

Black Tech Columbus also hosts monthly workshops and seminars for people of color to learn about the tech industry. To sign up or learn more about it, click here or here.