ST. LOUIS (Oct. 22, 2021) – Gateway Global American Youth and Business Alliance Academies, a STEM based workforce training and apprenticeship management organization, announced today it will open the nation’s first Geospatial & IT Workforce and Apprenticeship Campus (GIWAC) headquarters in North St. Louis within one mile of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new N2W facility.
North St. Louis city is the home of the $1.7 billion new development of the NGA West headquarters, scheduled to open in 2025. The decision for NGA to remain in St. Louis inspired Gateway Global’s CEO, Zekita Armstrong Asuquo, to launch and grow an organization that could supply talent at all levels to NGA and its industry partners. Gateway Global’s mission is to keep U.S. companies and government globally competitive by helping to create a robust, skilled talent pipeline that is racially, geographically, and gender diverse. The organization is currently the only in the nation accredited by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) to train and credential in Geospatial Intelligence at the high school level (including recent high school graduates).
Armstrong Asuquo — an original member of the Advisory Committee that developed the GeoFutures Strategic Roadmap, now an initiative of Greater St. Louis, Inc. – said, “having a much-needed training and innovation hub at the center of an under-resourced community that has been blighted for far too long is what’s needed to ensure that the mission is fulfilled.”
The GIWAC will develop in two phases: the first phase is comprised of two renovated former school buildings that will be utilized for youth and adult training, research and equipment labs, and community access programming; the second phase will see a newly constructed Geospatial Simulation Theater for experiential learning and regional admissions. The three buildings of the campus will span across two of the surrounding NGA affected neighborhoods, Hyde Park and Old North St. Louis, respectively. Gateway Global will also open space for K-8 STEM-based afterschool and Summer program partners to conduct programming and grant young students access to experiential learning, technology, and activities.
“NGA remaining in St. Louis brings tremendous opportunity for residents in the surrounding communities and our goal is to provide skills and access to those opportunities so that residents feel like they, too, have a chance to fully participate in this exciting and profitable industry cluster,” said Armstrong Asuquo. “The only way to do that is to meet them where they are.”
GIWAC Phase I is scheduled to be completed by December 2022 with Phase II scheduled for completion by December 2024.