Steve “Woz” Wozniak, cofounder of Apple Computer and inventor of the Apple II computer, announced on Friday the launch of his latest startup, Woz U.
The venture is a “digital institute” meant to help people gain skills in computer science to fill gaps in high-paying technology roles. Wozniak, beloved for his affability, said Woz U was created to make tech less intimidating.
“People often are afraid to choose a technology-based career because they think they can’t do it,” he said in a statement. “I know they can, and I want to show them how.”
Many economists predict that robotics and artificial intelligence are poised to replace sizable chunks of the American workforce, particularly those working in low-skill jobs. Without the proper training, these predictions suggest, millions of employees could be out of a job.
Woz U was launched in an effort to give people relevant skills as a kind of insurance policy. As tech becomes even more of a dominant presence in the US economy, America’s tech sector will need more people to fill new roles. According to Wozniak, there’s a way to do that without racking up thousands in college loans.
“Our goal is to educate and train people in employable digital skills without putting them into years of debt,” he said in a statement.