Northeast Times

Frankford folks are proud of their new computer skills

Eth­el Dawson par­ti­cip­ates in the In­tro­duct­ory Com­puter Work­shop at the Frank­ford Com­munity De­vel­op­ment Cor­por­a­tion. She says that these skills will help her in every­day life, and is ex­cited that now she can track her daugh­ter’s flight when she comes to vis­it her, Thursday, April 26, 2012, Phil­adelphia, Pa. (Maria Pouch­nikova)

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.

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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