computer skills

Community Technology Empowerment Project

St Paul, MN

The AmeriCorps Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) bridges the “digital divide” for recent immigrants and low-income communities in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. AmeriCorps members help youth and adults use technology to better access social, civic, educational and economic opportunities.

The primary goal of this project is to help partner agencies utilize their existing community technology resources to better serve the needs of both youth and adults within their local neighborhoods, especially new immigrant, low-income residents and persons with disabilities.

A secondary goal is teach agency staff, volunteers and visitors how to use new technologies (including digital video and web) in order to help their constituents connect with existing civic, social service and community resources.

Additionally, all AmeriCorps CTEP members are required to mobilize volunteers at their host sites, participate in member development activities, and learn about civic engagement during their service year.

South End Tech Center @ Tent City

Boston, MA

The South End Technology Center @ Tent City (The Tech Center) is a collaborative venture between the Tent City Corporation (TCC) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Our fundamental purpose is to enable people to become producers of knowledge and sharers of ideas and information. Our scope and methods are as diverse as the people we serve. We provide free or low-cost access and training in most aspects of computer-related technology. The staff, mostly volunteers, have extensive backgrounds in computer technology and their applications.

The goals of the Tech Center are as follows:
Recruit and train persons in computer technology who have been excluded from the technological revolution and are at an increased risk of joblessness.

Encourage community residents to use information technology as a means of personal and professional development.

Help residents move from being consumers of information to producers and creators of knowledge.


Newton, MA

ScienceQuest supports community based organizations and community technology centers in their implementation of after school science inquiry projects for young adolescents (aged 10 to 14). In the first year of ScienceQuest, over 100 kids from ten different community organizations formulated their own queries, developed research plans, investigated science questions, and designed their own web sites to share the results of their investigations.

ScienceQuest has outlined the following goals for participating youth: to promote excitement about science, to provide opportunities to increase content knowledge, to foster technological skills that will be applicable for school and work, and to offer positive experiences working with a peer team in a safe, after school environment.

To set up a ScienceQuest team, community based organizations need guidelines and resource materials; volunteer coaches need training for working with youth and technology; and youth and parents need to understand the value of the program. ScienceQuest staff work with center coordinators to establish the basic structures needed for setting up ScienceQuest teams. ScienceQuest staff organize a full-day, in-person training to present the curriculum adapted specifically for after school environments. Centers can access downloadable templates, online resources, and training materials, and the help desk offers ongoing technical assistance.

Operation P.E.A.C.E. Boston

Boston, MA

We provide free education programs to empower low income families with at-risk youths, unemployed residents, new English speakers, and senior citizens living in Boston’s culturally diverse Fenway community.

The Fenway community is both vibrant and diverse. We empower Fenway residents to become self-sufficient by developing literacy, vocational, and social skills as responsible adults. Our youth programs focus on building study skills, computer training, mentoring, and leadership development. We offer arts, technology, and education programs that help youth develop social skills, improve academic achievement, and learn the importance of teamwork and community contribution. We also offer ESL classes for linguistically-diverse adults and provide enrichment programs for senior citizens so they remain a vital part of our community.

Community Open Access
Our state-of-the-art media center offers Community Open Access hours with a qualified instructor to teach computer training and skill development for our culturally diverse community. Whether it’s children researching the Internet for their homework, Russian and Spanish speakers using computer programs to improve their English skills, unemployed parents learning to email their resumes to prospective employers, or senior citizens getting email accounts for the first time, our Open Access hours offer something for everyone.

Oakland Technology Exchange West (OTX West)/Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute

Oakland, CA

The Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute (MAFEI) Oakland Technology Exchange West project (OTX-W) is a large-scale computer reuse program dedicated to providing high quality, refurbished home computers to families, students and teachers. As reflected in the scope of work and subsequent MOU agreement, MAFEI continues to meet the following objectives for FY 2004-05.

OTX-West is dedicated to eliminating the digital divide in Oakland, California. We do this by refurbishing surplus computers, educating families and providing ongoing access and support to those who have received our computers. The experiences of OTX-West over the past 6 years has demonstrated both the need for home computers in the community and the reuse model as a green way to meet the need.

In today’s world, everyone needs access to computers and the Internet in order to join the new economy. Access to education, health care, government agencies, jobs, and other services are all currently offered through the Internet. This need has many adults feeling like they are too old to learn the tools of the “information age.” This way of thinking, along with the lack of resources in the communities, contributes to the “digital divide” that exits in Oakland.

It is not enough to provide computers, although this is essential. OTX-West provides education that is necessary for those who are getting their computers for the first time. Technical support is also necessary to keep these computers working properly so that the people of Oakland can continue to learn and become a part of the “information age” and not be left behind.

HandyCapable Network, Inc.


To thrive in today’s world, everyone deserves the opportunity to take advantage of the accessibility that technology affords us. Unfortunately, for low-income families and individuals with disabilities, these opportunities and often difficult to come by.

Handy Capable Network (HCN) assists these individuals, as well as local nonprofit organizations, in accessing technology that had previously been beyond their reach. HCN trains adults with disabilities in the skills necessary to use and repair computers. We strive to create an environment where disabled individuals can learn valuable computer skills, gain self-esteem, and encourage personal growth and independence. For low-income families who do not have access to computer technology at home, we provide them with free or low-cost refurbished computers, and the requisite educational information to fully utilize these exciting tools.

In order for HandyCapable to carry out its mission of helping socioeconomically challenged or developmentally disabled individuals to cross the digital divide, we depend on donations of used computers from individuals and businesses in the community. To learn how you can help, please click here!

As a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, HCN installs Microsoft Windows on all of our refurbished computers. Additionally, we format all donated computers to the security standards used by the US Dept. of Defense.

Computer C.O.R.E.

Alexandria, VA

Most jobs now require some degree of proficiency in computer skills. A significant percentage of low-income adults do not have these skills that are prerequisites for gaining more meaningful employment, and Northern Virginia’s businesses need more skilled workers. Computer C.O.R.E.’s training program addresses these needs by providing training in computer skills, personal development, and job search strategies.

CORE’s Mission is to help low-income adults acquire the technological and life skills they need to pursue their career aspirations.

CORE’s Vision is a world where all people shall have the skills and confidence to pursue their dreams, reach their full potential, and make meaningful contributions to their communities.

Transmission Project