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FAMU offers free computer use

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 Individuals that need access to a computer and Internet can now visit Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) recently opened Center for Public Computing and Workforce Development.  The Center is a result of a nearly $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The Center is free of charge for citizens of Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon and Wakulla counties. The hours of operation will be seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. and is located at 1600 Wahnish Way.

“We are very pleased to have this unique opportunity to serve the communities of the four counties that surround FAMU,” said Sterling Adams, director of the Center for Public Computing and Workforce Development.  “The center will serve the community through access to computing and training resources as well as programs and services designed to increase the number of skilled individuals for the employment needs now and in the future.”

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the three-county region of northern Florida targeted by FAMU has poverty and unemployment rates well above the state and national averages, and many residents lack the 21st century skills necessary for industry certifications and job preparation. A number of training courses will be offered free of charge through the center to help address this need.

Through the grant, the FAMU Enterprise Information Technology Division and the FAMU College of Education Department of Workforce Education and Development established the Center for Public Computing and Workforce Development on the FAMU campus to serve the public.  The center also plans to serve as a resource to other public computing centers in the region.

FAMU’s Small Business Development Center plans to provide business development training and counseling services through videoconferencing technology, and offer workshops to small businesses with an emphasis on minorities, women, and veterans.

The Center aims to develop and expand its instructional capacity through an aggressive “Train the Trainer” workshop program, which includes working with Florida’s Small Business Development Agency to create training content and identify and recruit trainers.

The FAMU Center for Public Computing and Workforce Development houses 65 workstations and plans to train 14,500 residents with approximately 87,000 hours of teacher-led training annually over the three years of the project.

The project’s training and broadband programs would include specific disciplines important to the northern part of the state, including public administration, education services, healthcare, social assistance, agriculture, forestry, and fishing and hunting.

For more information, contact Sterlin Adams at (850) 412-7474.
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