Why is Technology Important?

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills are in very high demand. According to Cisco systems:

Growth

Projected job growth for STEM careers is nearly double Non-STEM

Higher Pay

Top 10 highest paid careers are STEM careers

Employment

60% of US job openings require STEM literacy
42% require advanced STEM knowledge

Advancement

The advance of the Internet of Things will increase the need for a STEM-ready workforce

The research into and applied use of STEM have been pre-requisites of the advancement of all human societies. As in the fields entertainment and sports, where the Caribbean competes globally and effectively, the Task Force feels that the region can do the same with STEM.

Focus Area

Palisadoes will initially focus on the field of software engineering as knowledge of it has become an expected skill in all STEM areas.

  • The barriers to using it are relatively low compared to other areas of the discipline such as electronic, electrical, civil and mechanical engineering.
  • Software engineering was also selected as a natural extension of the Caribbean region’s success in the call center service sector.
  • Recent developments in software engineering have made participation in the field significantly easier than in the past with the increasing maturity of the Open Source movement.
  • Open source software is free to download, access, modify and use which significantly lowers the barriers to adoption encountered when working with traditional proprietary systems.
  • All the world’s largest websites actively use and contribute to the Open Source movement, and often require their new engineering employees to have in depth knowledge of its core projects.

Long Term Expectations

Though the short term focus is to encourage participation in the Open Source movement, the longer term goal is make Palisadoes participants globally recognized innovators, academics, entrepreneurs, and executives.

Programs

The first Palisadoes program is The Calico Initiative which promotes interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses by offering stipends to students wanting to contribute to the open source community. The aim is to progressively expand the Palisadoes programs as the availability of resources increases and our experience in the process matures.

Participate

We feel that the Palisadoes Initiative is just the first of many to help improve Jamaica’s competitiveness in non-traditional markets.

We fully expect Palisadoes to include participation from the diaspora of other Caribbean nations for the promotion of software engineering in the region. The Calico project will eventually be expanded to support this.

Our aim is to sponsor 20 students each year

Join our corporate and individual donors in Jamaica and overseas.

Our Board

The president of the Palisadoes Foundation is Peter Harrison. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer and a Co-Founder of Colovore. Colovore is a provider of high-density colocation solutions for companies operating high-performance IT hardware.

Peter has built the core web infrastructure for several of Silicon Valley’s internet titans. Most recently, Peter worked at Google where he helped manage global data center demand and capacity planning; the Google Fiber program and its initial data center infrastructure rollout. Peter previously lead the network team that was responsible for the initial design and deployment of Netflix’s Internet video service.

Peter obtained his Computer Engineering undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas from the University of West Indies in Jamaica. By chance, Peter was recruited to support Y2K issues in the US, and found himself on a unique path to success. He is proof that the quality of Jamaican college education is strong, but it took chance opportunities to help him establish his place in Silicon Valley. He wants to ensure that Jamaican programmers who share his work ethic don’t have to wait for luck to develop their reputation in the growing world of Information Technology.

The secretary of the Palisadoes Foundation is KG Charles-Harris. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Quarrio Corporation. Quarrio Corp. is a software company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to make it easy for average business users to do advanced reporting and analytics. KG has founded, built, and sold three companies in the software, biotech and services and investment banking industries. He was named Global Entrepreneur of the Year by the United Nations and is a board member and advisor to several companies. KG grew up experiencing a variety of different cultures. When he moved to Jamaica from Sweden during his teenage years, it changed his life and he fell in love with the country. One of his goals is to provide college students in disadvantaged countries the ability to keep pace with cutting edge technologies. The Calico Project brings Jamaican computer science students the opportunity to experience real world open source coding and collaboration on an international level. KG helps Palisadoes provide great students great opportunities, and teach them how to align themselves for future ones.

The treasurer of the Palisadoes Foundation is Tennyson Williams. He is a Senior Technical Project Manager at Comcast. Tennyson has worked on projects for Google, PayPal, Cisco, and has also worked for Hewlett-Packard. He is passionate about the Palisadoes Foundation, and in particular the Calico Challenge, because it’s one of the few programs that has a direct impact on the students. His forte is working on next generation technologies and products, which gives him great insight into what is required to stay current. He knows they are getting exposure to real world technology and will have the opportunity for their contribution to have direct impact to solve real world issues. He believes these are the things needed to raise the knowledge base of the Jamaican next generation of software developers such that they can compete with the rest of the world. Tennyson is also a past President of the Jamaican American Association of Northern California.

Need to know more about the Palisadoes Foundation? Send us a note.

The Palisadoes Foundation
P.O. Box 518
Cupertino, CA, 95015, USA

Non-Profit Status
The Palisadoes Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.
Your donation is tax-deductible.
IRS EIN: 81-1271871

60% of US job openings

require STEM literacy

20 students each year

our sponsor goal

Top 10 highest paid

careers are STEM careers