The Frankford Community Development Corporation is now the neighborhood computer center.
Thanks to Temple University and the city’s Philly Rising program, the community organization at 4900 Griscom St. now has nine refurbished computers that will be available for use by the public Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and also Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mayor Michael Nutter and Managing Director Rich Negrin were on hand recently to open the center, which was organized by Philly Rising, which asked the CDC to provide the space. The ribbon-cutting was a crowded affair with many local officials, business owners, pastors, residents and students squeezing into CDC offices.
The mayor explained why the computer center fills a need.
Forty-one percent of Philadelphians don’t have access to the Internet, the mayor said, but 80 percent of employment applications are online. Applications for college financial aid also are done online.
“Everything now has to be done online,” Nutter said.
To meet that need, Nutter said, the city has opened up 77 computer centers.
“The benefit will ripple throughout the community,” the mayor said.
Temple is donating the computers, which are loaded with Windows XP and Internet access, said Jonathan Latko, assistant director of the university’s Computer Recycling Center.
The nine machines are all 5- to 6 years old with 15- to 17-inch flat screens and are refurbished and ready to use, Latko said last week.
He said Temple has been donating its older computers to city organizations as it replaces them with new machines. Latko said the university averages 20 to 30 donations per year.
Frankford High 10th-grader Jack Charles, 16, said he was looking forward to using the Internet to help with his school work.
But the idea of providing neighborhood Internet access is not only to help students with their studies or job seekers find employment, said the CDC’s managing director, Tracy O’Drain. Local business operators will be welcome to use the computer center to build Web sites.
That access was not ready last week, and it’s hoped the computers will be online before month’s end.
The mayor’s office said the CDC has signed an agreement with Pennsylvania CareerLink to host its software and will serve as a community employment resource.
Manny Citron, an assistant city managing director assigned to Philly Rising, said the center will be open Sunday, Feb. 26, in conjunction with the Mayor’s PhillyGoes2College Office and Campaign for Working Families so residents can use the computers to file taxes or college financial aid applications. ••EndFragment