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About the Employment and Technology Center

The Employment and Technology Center (ETC) provides students the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge and exposure in a range of STEM and technical arts areas — from pre-med to audio engineering to fashion technology. ETC is open to students ages 14 to 21. Those who join us will benefit from our unique four-year program structure, which immerses students in the focus area of their choosing, aligns them with industry experts, and leads them to real-world internship experiences. ETC also offers a range of additional services to ensure students excel in their academic careers and beyond.

ETC Focus Areas

ETC students select a focus from one of eight areas:

  • Pre-Med: Students learn essential knowledge—from CPR/RTE to dissection and physiology—required to be successful in the medical field.
  • Architecture: Using the latest technologies in drafting and 3D printing, students learn design fundamentals and the nuance of designing for specific communities.
  • Virtual Reality: On a journey of discovery, students learn to record and edit their experiences in the VR and augmented reality realm.
  • Graphic Design: Extensive instruction in AutoCAD and Photoshop equips students to design professional-quality marketing materials and stop motion graphics.
  • Audio Engineering: On the industry’s most elite technology, students learn how to make beats, mix, and master their own music.
  • App Design: Students learn how to build and market digital apps in the competitive world of technology.
  • Gastronomy: In addition to exploring the science of molecular gastronomy, students grasp the professional requirements of a culinary career.
  • Fashion Technology: Students roll up their sleeves and learn how to design and produce clothing made from cutting-edge technologies, such as design software, laser cutting, and 3D printing.

Four-Year Program Structure

ETC is intentionally designed to replicate certain aspects of the college experience. Once students select a focus area, they embark on ETC’s four-year program structure.

Year 1: Education

Students learn core knowledge and technical applications of their focus area to achieve competence and become competitive career candidates.

Year 2: On the Stage

Students spend a year partnered with a specialist instructor in an independent study project that has real-world relevance and application.

Year 3: Co-Teaching

To demonstrate mastery, students lead underclassmen project teams. They are also now permitted to generate and execute projects on their own.

Year 4: Career Immersion

With our help, students are placed in an internship or mentorship that allows them to apply skills and nurture professional contacts.

Additional Support and Services

ETC empowers students to explore a passion and gain career-ready experience while they continue their traditional academic pursuits. We also offer additional, holistic supports to students to help ensure they can excel in their learning endeavors.


Leveraging school, family, and community resources, we do whatever it takes to help ensure our students’ needs are met, and they are positioned for success.

Academic Support

We offer a wide range of academic interventions, including but not limited to:

  • SAT prep
  • Regents prep
  • One-on-one or small group tutoring
  • IEP supports, coordinating with school educators as needed

College and Career Readiness Services

In addition to nurturing the social-emotional skills that colleges require and employers demand, we also offer practical guidance to students as they apply for and prepare for college, including:

  • Personal statement support
  • HCZ scholarships to graduating high school students
  • Resume writing
  • Career development courses
  • Parent college advising and supports
  • Financial aid assistance
  • College visits, sponsored by HCZ
  • Summer college exposure opportunities, sponsored by HCZ

Health and Wellness

Fitness and nutrition courses are regularly available to ETC students and their families. Health educators also work alongside each student to tailor wellness learning.

Harlem Children's Zone college coordinator Laressa Bordenave wears a green shirt poses against a colorfully painted mural
Harlem Children's Zone college coordinator Laressa Bordenave wears a green shirt poses against a colorfully painted mural

Meet a Member of Our Team

Laressa Bordenave

As a College Coordinator at ETC, Laressa keeps students on task with college applications and focused on their dreams.

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Location and Hours

Find Us: 304 West 117th Street, New York, NY 10027

Monday – Friday: 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.


Are you interested in learning more about ETC? We’re here to help.

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