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Career development / Education / Tech jobs

This Philly nonprofit teaches the next hot tech skill: 3D modeling

CreateAccess works with schools, libraries and arts programs to get people familiar with tools to build and program in 3D.

CreateAccess cofounder Patrick Cozzi working with young people at Delco Boxing Academy. (Courtesy CreateAccess)

You wouldn’t think a boxing gym would teach people how to 3D model programming, but 3D creation enthusiasts Liz Dailey and Patrick Cozzi made it happen.

During the first year of their nonprofit, Dailey and Cozzi taught a group of young people at Delco Boxing Academy in Glenolden, 40 minutes outside Philadelphia, how to make 3D models with a boxing theme. The program was run by CreateAccess.

“Our hope is to help beginners get started with 3D creation so that they can see that those opportunities are within their reach,” said Dailey, the organization’s cofounder and executive director.

Cozzi, who is also CEO of Cesium, a 3D geospatial data company based in Old City, cofounded CreateAccess to increase exposure around the field.

“We’ve seen the way that we interact with computers moving from 2D to 3D,” Cozzi told “We think it’s a great growth area for folks who are looking for potentially technology focused career paths.”

3D creation jobs have a lot of potential because they intersect with a lot of other industries, such as medicine, fashion, real estate and sports, Dailey said. The average salary for 3D modelers in Pennsylvania is more than $78,400, and demand for 3D modeler jobs is expected to grow 5% over this decade, according to Zippia.

CreateAccess’ website offers a series of free “microcourses,” which provide both written and video materials that break down how to use 3D tools and help introduce people to the concepts.

The org’s in-person programming shows beginner learners how these skills can be applied to their own hobbies and interests, per Daily. She and her team have focused on working with schools and community organizations like libraries and arts groups, partnering to bring in one-time programming that adds value to activities already underway.

The nonprofit typically works with teens in middle and high school, but also works with adults and educators who are curious.

The ultimate goal for the org is to see people take another step towards furthering their 3D creation skills, Dailey said. Whether that might be signing up for a computer science course, going to a tech camp, or declaring a tech related major in college.

CreateAccess also launched a paid internship program for high school and college students to help develop the microcourse programming.

As the nonprofit enters its second year of operation, leaders hope to increase collaboration with 3D creators and partner organizations to keep the information fresh.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm and excitement,” Dailey said. “We just want to make sure that everyone who wants to be part of this sort of wave of involvement in 3d creation, finds their place within it and that we can support that.”

Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
Companies: Cesium

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