Broadband Expansion – Public Computer Centers

General Information
Program/Project Name: Public Computer Centers

Funding Category: Growing Philadelphia’s Businesses, Economy & Workforce

Program Description
Federal Grant Name: Broadband Technology Opportunities Program

Programs Supported Through Funding: This grant directly support 78 new and existing Public Computing Centers (PCC) across the city, including four mobile computer labs. Public Computing Centers include new computer equipment across all identified locations, and training for hired employees staffing computer centers. The grant also includes client-based training programs focusing on basic computer skills, applications, and workforce development opportunities.

Why Apply for this Grant?
In order to be an informed and engaged citizen, technology based tools and skills sets are required. The overall goal of this program is to ensure that all Philadelphians have access to computing and broadband technology in order to build important workforce-related skills sets, find employment, locate healthcare information, and complete school work.

Program Objectives
Use of Funds:
To provide public computers, Internet access, and training programs at community anchor institutions including health providers, recreation centers, housing shelters, and other community organizations across the City of Philadelphia.

Grant Achievements for the Quarter: This quarter the City continued the physical implementation and deployment of public computing centers. All sub-recipients who are overseeing the operation of multiple public computing centers have continued to aggressively ramp up operations including  hiring and training program staff, upgrading or establishing broadband connenctions at centers, providing open access hours at established labs, and creating local outreach in the community. The Public Computing Center grant created or maintained 9 full time and 64 part time jobs during this quarter. There have been 68 Public Computer Centers established or maintained this quarter. Other initiatives and advances this quarter included on-going Public Computing Center Steering Committee meetings to ensure that sub-recipients are communicating with the City and each other, and coordinating efforts across other Broadband Technology Opportunities Program projects in the City to leverage the resources of all projects and maximize benefits to the citizens of the City.

For more information on the public computer centers being opened, their locations, classes offered, hours, etc., by the Freedom Rings Partnership, click here or visit www.freedomringspartnership.com.

In the digital age, a computer and Internet access is a necessity, yet 41% of Philadelphians do not have access. Formed to tackle this problem, the Freedom Rings Partnership is comprised of the City of Philadelphia, grassroots organizations, and universities bringing internet access, training and technology to communities citywide.

Click here to view a fact sheet regarding the Freedom Rings Partnership.

Actual # of FTE jobs created for the quarter*:

Q8: 11.58

Q9: 16.03

Q10: 18.94

*In the City of Philadelphia’s quarterly federal report, also know as Section 1512 reports, jobs are calculated based on hours worked, instead of the number of people at work. It also looks only at jobs funded directly by the Recovery Act, and does not include jobs created indirectly. Direct jobs are counted quarterly and are not cumulative.

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