By Paula Anderson
LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Corporation (LOC CDC) is on the brink of providing economic and educational opportunities to residents in the South Memphis community with a $1.2 million educational gift and a state-of-the-art innovation center featuring a video game development studio.
Jeffrey Higgs, executive director of LOC CDC said, “This is an important time in the evolution of neighborhood revitalization as we direct our energy toward technology, youth empowerment and community development.”
Higgs partnered with Isiah Reese, chief executive officer of Aperion Global Institute, to offer classes in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, media and entertainment law, supply chain & logistics, video gaming creation, cybersecurity and social justice. The online platform features over 2,000 courses.
Reese said, “The 21st century workforce requires the blending of innovation and creativity. At AGI, we believe in delivering an integrated, multilingual, and flexible digital learning landscape that accommodates both traditional student and non-traditional lifelong learner.”
In addition to online training, an Innovation Center will be located across from the Four Way Grill restaurant on Walker near the campus of LeMoyne-Owen College.
BraveDog Games ® will construct a state-of-the-art innovation center for residents to learn about technology, video game development and create business opportunities for the marketplace.
Dustin Mack, chief executive officer of BraveDog Games and co-founder of BraveDog Innovation Center said, “When I founded BraveDog ® Games, my goal was simple, to provide a voice for people of color in an industry in which hopes and dreams are turned into realities and an industry in which young people can affect positive change.”
According to Mack, “The BraveDog Innovation Center (BDIC) will be housed in nearly 2,000 square feet of space and is expected to have a projected $15 million economic impact in the South Memphis and Downtown areas. The BDIC will feature the following: a premium video game lounge, state-of-the-art eSports arena, eSports academy, merchandise retail store, student video game development training facility, private investors ideation pitch room, entrepreneurial training center, workspace and a financial center.”
Reese said, “We were so excited to award this franchise to Higgs and his team. It is no secret that technology has been transforming many different industries. Today’s economy demands a workforce that has creative and innovative risk-takers and critical thinkers in the 21st century.”
According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), “employment in the video game industry created an average compensation of $97,000 per year in 2015 and has grown 2.9 percent, which has doubled the average U.S. job market.”
“We as a company are ecstatic about this partnership and we applaud executive director, Higgs and LOC CDC, for the amazing work that they do within the community. With our mission of providing underrepresented communities with access to the video game industry in focus, we envision LOC CDC and the greater Memphis area becoming a catalyst for innovation within the video games and eSports industries and as a company and all of our partners are fully committed to this initiative,” added Mack.
The Groundbreaking Ceremony is scheduled for Sat. March 23 at 11:00 a.m. across from the Four Way Grill on Walker Ave and Mississippi.
To learn more about BraveDog Games ®, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paula Anderson is a freelance journalist. She can be reached at email@example.com.