By Karen Stokes
October is WI Tech Month, a month-long celebration of all things tech. Led by the Milky Way Tech Hub and Latinos in Tech, the initiative aims to elevate Wisconsin’s burgeoning tech industry.
In 2021, Wisconsin Tech Month was established in partnership with Governor Evers. This year features 80 events dedicated to the initiative throughout October.
Nadiyah Johnson, founder of Milky Way Tech Hub has been at the forefront of WI Tech Month.
“I started Milky Way Tech Hub in late 2017. The mission of Milky Way Tech Hub is to increase representation of Black and Latino communities and those who have traditionally not been included in the tech space within the city of Milwaukee and now statewide in our tech ecosystem. It’s all about increasing representation in tech and also just leveraging technology not for technology’s sake but to better the lives of residents in the city and statewide,” she said.
According to Johnson, Wisconsin’s tech month initiative ranks among the largest in the Midwest.
WI Tech Month is proud to announce a record number of partnerships this year including Uline, Milwaukee County, Associated Bank, SoftwareOne, Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC), the Wisconsin Science Festival and Wisconsin Athletic Clubs.
“Our new partnerships are game-changers for WI Tech Month,” adds Johnson. “Wisconsin Athletic Club has joined us as the exclusive fitness partner, offering Milky Way Tech Hub members 21-day access to all WAC clubs, weaving a wellness focus into the tech-centric month.”
Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science, a master’s in computational science, and is currently working towards a Ph.D. in computer science. Her journey into tech started during sophomore year in college, despite initial hesitancy, as she was majoring in International Politics.
Her father, a software engineer, was her inspiration. He advised her to consider computer science for its financial opportunities. She trusted his guidance.
“I took the leap. When I got into this space because I knew that it was lucrative and wanted a decent salary coming out of college, I saw how powerful that technology is,” Johnson said.
Milky Way Tech Hub offers community memberships for individuals which are completely free, while corporate members can come in at different tiers, supporting programs that align best with their missions. American Family is one of their most significant corporate members as well as Milwaukee County.
Johnson advised that if you’re employed at a company, inquire about why they aren’t a corporate member of Milky Way Tech Hub.
For additional details, please visit Milkywaytechhub.com. If you’re interested in subscribing to their newsletter or want information on volunteering and supporting their programs, it’s available on the website.
A full schedule of the 80 events that will be held this month is available at witechmonth.com