A $25,000 grant from the Comcast Foundation has significantly upgraded the technology lab at Erie Neighborhood House with new computers, monitors and other equipment. The lab is utilized for hands-on instruction offered through the agency’s Workforce Development program as well as open work hours available to community members.
“It’s cliché, but we live in a technology-driven society that is still expanding as we speak,” says Workforce Development program director Judy Lai. “There is a real need in our community for people to continually develop computer skills to advance their careers, succeed in school and support learning at home.”
A total of 11,775 hours were logged by adult learners last year in Erie House’s two tech labs in Chicago’s West Town and Little Village neighborhoods. Depending on the course level, students learn basic and advanced functions of Microsoft Office software programs as well as how to utilize other advanced software and hardware. They also receive assistance building resumes and conducting job searches using the Internet.
The Comcast Foundation grant also supports Visionaries, a digital media initiative in the agency’s YOU program for youth ages 12 to 18, in which students gain skills in photography and film production, graphic design and more. Visionaries youth have even launched a social enterprise called Four Star Creations to sell original artwork on Etsy and at local events.
“We are proud to partner with Erie Neighborhood House to provide kids and families access to technology and help them develop the skills they need to succeed in today’s digital world” says Debra Marton, Comcast’s regional senior manager of community investment, who visited Erie House today to celebrate the opening of the upgraded West Town tech lab.
Comcast partners year-round with Erie House. Erie House regularly serves as a Comcast Cares Day volunteer site that engages Comcast NBCUniversal employees in a day of community service. Comcast also provides low-cost, high-speed internet access to eligible low-income households in the community through its Internet Essentials program.
“We are grateful for the impact Comcast is making in our community,” says Erie House executive director Kirstin Chernawsky. “Our partnership is increasing computer literacy and providing folks with access to tools that will help them build a better life for themselves and their families. The upgrades Comcast made to our tech lab will greatly increase that impact.”
For more information on the Workforce Development program, Visionaries and other programs at Erie House, please visit www.eriehouse.org.
About the Comcast Foundation
The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation has three community investment priorities—expanding digital literacy, promoting community service, and building tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated more than $200 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/community.