Online Staff Report
The Northwest Community Center has been awarded the 2015 Eliminate the Digital Divide grant.
This program is funded by the Department of Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity and funds community technology centers to serve residents of eligible low-income communities and provide computer access and training to the public.
According center spokesmen, today’s workplace relies on technology and computer literacy is a requirement for most jobs and career mobility. The grant will assist those who lack basic computer skills and regular Internet access participate more in the global economy.
The Northwest Community Center has partnered with the Winnebago County Housing Authority and the Rockford Park District to launch the program and expand the Northwest Community Center’s services across Rockford’s west side. The program will expand its outreach to southwest Rockford at the Washington Park Community Center’s technology center and to the Collier Garden technology center. The program is available to the entire community and the technology center expansion will bring an immediate impact to more than 20,000 people, including the 7,500 the center currently serves.
The classes will offer entry level training and education on basic computer use with the basics of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet and email. No prior computer skills are necessary. First sessions begin the week of Sept. 22, with a six-week course meeting twice a week. For more information, call the Northwest Community Center at (815) 964-6885.
About the Eliminate the Digital Divide Grant Program
The Eliminate the Digital Divide grant program seeks to provide access to computers, telecommunications technologies and related training to disadvantaged communities. Under this program, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is authorized to award grants of up to $75,000 to plan, establish, administer and expand Community Technology Centers (CTC’s) and to support basic computer literacy training programs.