September 19, 2008
Catawbas Open Tech Center
The new technology center that opened this month at the Catawba Indian Nation's Longhouse was the result of a combined efforts by a variety of groups. It should be a valuable learning tool not only for tribal members but also others in the community.
The center will offer workplace computer training, a GED program and small business classes to tribal members and area residents. It includes 11 new computers and will be staffed by a licensed instructor who will teach GED courses and a work-skills technology program.
Businesses and community organizations also provided resources. IBM, for example, donated computers, and Tri-District/Chester Adult Education provided the instructor. SeniorNet, a national nonprofit organization for older adults, gave software.
The Catawba tech center is the fifth in the nation to be opened as part of Hope and Harmony for Humanity, a grant-based initiative to bring technology and training to American Indians in rural areas. It is hoped that these skills will be a boost for American Indians, who suffer from an unemployment rate 9 percent higher than the national average.
This should provide a great opportunity for Catawbas to learn new job skills, complete their education or just brush up on their computer skills. Congratulations to all who had a hand in bringing this service to the reservation.
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