Peter Miller, a longtime activist in the community technology movement, pointed out that United South End Settlements (USES) is a solid local example of a thriving community technology center (CTC) during the first “thought leadership talk” at Tech Networks. He commented, “USES established one of the first CTCs in the cadre that developed in the Boston area, the first settlement house to do so nationally, providing model open access, education and training, and partnership programs.” (Visit Peter Miller’s Website.)
The mission of USES is to build a strong community by improving the education, health, safety, and economic security of low-income individuals and families in Boston’s historic South End/Lower Roxbury and to serve as a national model of successful neighborhood engagement.
TNB has provided technical support to USES since January 2010, and we are proud of the workforce readiness initiatives that make use of USES’ in-house community technology center:
Computer Training for Employment –
This basic computer literacy class addresses fundamental knowledge of the internet, operating systems, hardware, software (especially the Microsoft Office suite), and typing in order to give students the confidence to excel in a career path in a technology specialty of their choice.
Data Entry Specialist Program –
Offered in partnership with Fenway CDC, Career Collaborative, and Roxbury Community College, this program trains students in technical data entry skills. Students focus on keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheets, and databases. Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in work-study and internships with partner organizations.
On-Line Learning Readiness –
Made possible by a grant to the City of Boston and the Timothy Smith Network from the Department of Commerce, this intensive program is focused on teaching the skills needed to be truly competitive in today’s job market, including how to navigate the Internet and use both email and Microsoft Office. Students create effective resumes and cover letters, develop professional networking profiles, and acquire the skills needed to get and keep a job in today’s economy.
As Peter Miller explained, the overall practice of community technology involves a combination of the efforts of individuals, community technology centers, and national organizations with federal policy initiatives around broadband, information access, education, and economic development. He helped us see how congruent this work is with USES’s overall mission, and with our own passions for workforce development and technology that supports social missions.
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