Some Frankford residents got an introduction to computer basics, the Internet, e-mail and social-media sites during three classes held last month at the Frankford Community Development Corp. on Griscom Street.
“This is life-changing,” said Frank Cutler when he received a certificate from state Rep. Tony Payton Jr. (D-179th dist.) as the last class concluded April 26.
Payton teamed up with the CDC and the People’s Emergency Center, a West Philadelphia community group, to provide the free computer training.
Computer skills and Internet access are more important than ever, he said, since even applying for a job at a fast-food restaurant must be done online.
“Everything is online,” Payton said. “Some people aren’t used to the tech side of work. A lot of folks need to catch up.”
The instruction at the CDC was one of 80 events last week, which City Council had dubbed “Philly Tech Week,” that were scheduled to promote awareness of and education in technology.
Chandi Queen of the People’s Emergency Center conducted the classes for up to 10 people in the neighborhood computer center on the CDC’s second floor, showing her students the ins and outs of digital life. Because the classes were small, attendees got a lot of individual attention.
The computer center was set up in January with nine computers donated by Temple University. It’s gotten a lot of use since, said Michelle Feldman, the CDC’s corridor manager. Feldman said they had to start a waiting list for classes and hope to have another class.
Payton handed out certificates. Attendees took home flash drives, too.
Working mom Karen Lee said she learned how to build her resume. She had been learning how to look for jobs online and found one before the workshop, she said. Rasheem Jennings learned how to build up his resume and use the Internet for job searches.
“This is so helpful,” Cutler said. “I got set up on Facebook.”
Getting more familiar with computers is confidence-building, he said.
“I have a computer at home,” said William Brown, “but I never knew how to get on the Internet.”
“I learned a few shortcuts on my computer, which saves time,” Brown said in an e-mail to the Northeast Times. “I’ve learned how to set up documents folders and make pictures folders.”
Brown said he’s talked up the class since getting his certificate of completion, and Jennings said, if the course is offered again, his advice is “Take the class!”
The computer center, courtesy of Temple University, PhillyRising, Aria Health and the Frankford CDC, is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The center is in the Frankford CDC building, 4900 Griscom St. Call 215-743-6580.