(Photo by Flickr user hackNY.org, used under a Creative Commons license)
When Travis Smith, a Wilmington resident, left his career in the pharmaceutical industry in May 2014, he knew he wanted to move on and do something that would have a positive impact on his community. That August, he started ACT Generation, a trade and business school for adults.
Smith has been an educator for over two decades and during that time he noticed many of his students had trouble adapting to change and keeping up with the new skills required for the next phase of their careers.
“I started ACT Generation because I saw a need for it. I saw a digital gap. For some people change is tough,” he explained. “I love change, though. ACT Generation offers a lot of short-term programs that will help people move on in their careers, or make the transition into a new career.”
ACT Generation, located at the ACT Global Center on Orange Street in Wilmington, offers courses in everything from the basic Microsoft Office Suite to digital media and ecommerce. Several of the certification programs are offered in eight- or 16-week periods, and are scheduled to meet the needs of ACT Generation’s target demographic — working adults.
The school is the first of its kind in Delaware. Smith said the goal of ACT Generation — which was named for its focus on audio-visual, communication and technology fields — is to help the community gain a better understanding of how each generation uses tech.
“We hope to use technology to connect the generations,” Smith said in a phone interview. “Usually technology separates the generations. We want to use technology as a way to bridge the gap between them.”
One way Smith works to bridge the generational gap is by hosting “Let’s Get Social,” a free class offered the first Saturday of every month. During the class, community members can come together, talk about social media platforms and learn from one another.