Youth Web Design

Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) is partnering with the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS) to launch the Youth Web Design pilot program. The Youth Web Design pilot provides an opportunity for Black-youth to create websites for Black-owned small businesses. Students meet with small business owners to understand their needs and receive necessary training to create websites. The goal of the pilot is to build community wealth by developing talent among youth and increasing small business resiliency, so that both youth and small business owners can thrive. 

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the growing economic disparities for youth and small businesses, especially for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. The pandemic reduced or eliminated funding for youth career opportunities and internships. For small businesses, Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order forced some businesses to reduce or close to contain the virus, greatly affecting small businesses’ revenue and customer base. In reaction to the pandemic, many BIPOC-owned businesses that have historically provided a community space recognized that they must pivot to an online space to continue serving and connecting with their community.    

In this partnership, ULMS recruited 16 Black-youth and designed a 6-week curriculum that encompass web design training, Wix skill certification, and consulting with Black small businesses owners. Participating youth will also receive a stipend for consulting with business owners and designing webpages. OED identified the 16 Black-owned small businesses that were interested in website support. In addition, OED financed the program through their Youth Workforce Development and Key Industries programs. Once the Youth Web Design pilot is completed, youth participants will present their finished products to Seattle OED, business owner, and friends and family.  

OED and ULMS will host the next cohorts of this program in the Spring and Fall of 2021. Black owned businesses interested in this resource must be Seattle based, have an up to date Seattle Business License Number, and can apply for consideration through the online portal. The ULMS will choose student participants from their existing connections with youth serving organizations and programs throughout the City.

For questions about this program and corporate partnership opportunities, please contact OED Technology and Media Advocate Anisa Khoshbakhtian at anisa.khosh@seattle.gov

For questions about student participation, requirements, and additional program benefits for student families, please contact ULMS Education Director Robert Jones at rjones@urbanleague.org.

Black-owned Businesses Participating in the Youth Web Design Pilot