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Microsoft aims to stimulate El Paso’s economic growth through TechSpark program

City of El Paso (CREDIT: KFOX14/CBS4)

Microsoft has announced that El Paso was selected to take part in its new TechSpark program.

TechSpark is a civic program designed to foster economic opportunity and job creation in six communities across the United States, a representative from Microsoft said.

According to Microsoft, the program will allow the company to work with local partners on five programs to help accelerate economic growth through regional internet connectivity, digital skills development, career skills development, nonprofit support and digital business transformation.

El Pasoans said they are excited for the opportunity.

"I think it's great.," said El Pasoan Christopher Hand. "Great for the economy."

"It's going to look super cool for El Paso, it's going to be awesome," said El Paso resident Diego Casillas.

Microsoft announced that Jonathan “JJ” Childress will lead the program in El Paso.

“I’m excited to be part of the TechSpark initiative in El Paso. I was born and raised here and am eager to pair my experience as an entrepreneur with my passion for civic engagement to help foster greater economic opportunity and job creation in the region. TechSpark Texas will help ensure our diverse community has the tools and technologies needed to thrive in today’s economy,” Childress said.

The initiative was created in 2017.

"What it really boils down to is a way to engage small businesses, train students in computer science and help existing employers up-skill and re-skill their employees," Childress said. "The big thing is just empowering students, empowering businesses and empowering the workforce to achieve more."

Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith will be in El Paso on Monday to speak at UTEP about artificial intelligence, jobs, digital skills and the new economy.

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