North Camden group to attend SXSW in Austin

It already has the technology infrastructure in place. The Hopeworks staff tweet. They’re all over Facebook.

Now the North Camden nonprofit that works with inner-city teens and sustains itself through its web-design business, hopes to boost its high-tech capacity this weekend from the South by Southwest interactive conference in Austin, Texas.

Hopeworks Executive Director Jeff Putthoff and two of the organization’s web directors will attend the emerging technologies conference and come back to Camden with creative ideas on “how to build better websites,” he said.

Since Hopeworks was founded in 2000, Putthoff has used technology to mentor Camden youths and improve their lives. His two-pronged approach is to give the kids skills they can use at school and current or future jobs and also allow Hopeworks to be self-sustaining.

So far, the nonprofit has created more than 400 websites for businesses and groups all over the tri-state area. (Some of the designs are pretty cool- click here to see their portfolio) It also created a GIS map of the city where residents can flag problems such as broken street lights or crime. And most recently, Hopeworks began producing videos. Hopeworks youths will tape events or make promotional videos for organizations or businesses. See below how the group promoted itself in anticipation of the South by Southwest conference.

To learn more about the group, follow Hopeworks via its Twitter feed @Hopeworkscamden. They will also be tweeting from the techie conference the next few days.