Comprehensive Technology Access and Training Programs
Between 2000 and 2005 WHGA has established five (5) technology centers that currently operate throughout WHGA’s low income and homeless housing developments. The Edward Dozier and Paul Register technology centers are located in West and Central Harlem respectively and provide programs that are open to the general public. Technology centers located in WHGA’s two family homeless shelters (Harriet Tubman and Convent Avenue Family Living Centers) currently provide technology access to our homeless adults and their children. Lastly, WHGA operates a technology center at the Mannie L. Wilson Towers- a low income housing development for seniors. WHGA seeks to enhance these technology centers to offer greater opportunities for employment, education and self- enrichment.
WHGA currently works closely with Community Impact at Columbia University which currently facilitates the majority of our programs.
While statistics on the use of technology in Harlem is not yet available, the following national perspectives cited below present some of the issues in U.S. policy, industry and culture that impact access to and use of technology in low income minority communities such as Harlem.
“…The technology gap is not simply a reflection of the choices made by individual households. The deeper problem is that many poor neighborhoods lack the infrastructure available in affluent areas. Groups such as the United Church of Christ that have studied patterns of telecommunications investment have found that, all too often, telephone and cable companies have moved quickly to wire wealthier suburbs with advanced systems, while poor, inner-city neighborhoods aren't upgraded. While public attention is often focused on whether individuals can get a service, the equally important problem is that lack of adequate telecommunications facilities makes an area less attractive for businesses. This can feed a spiral where the lack of investment at the community level leads to fewer economic opportunities for people who live there. As a result, the poverty in the neighborhood makes it a less inviting target for investment, further aggravating the problem.” Digital Divide Network (ddn.org)
""There is substantial evidence for a critical shortage of skilled IT workers in the United States(Freeman & Aspray, 1999; Information Technology Association of America (ITAA)", 1998, 2002.
"For Hispanics the stakes are especially significant because only one in eight are experiencing the digital fast lane known as broadband. And study after study shows that broadband usage is a predictor of educational advancement and educational attainment.” Miami Herald, January 5, 2005.
Technology Access Program Strategy
Edward Dozier and Paul Register ~ Public Technology Centers
WHGA seeks to create a technology based workforce development program that links Harlem residents to certification programs and gainful employment in the technology industry. Some of our major activities include developing technology based training programs, linking more of our residents to our network of programs in partnership with Community Impact, linking our technology programs to other education and social service initiatives throughout NYC.
Harriet Tubman and Convent Avenue Family Living Centers ~ Technology Programs for the Homeless
WHGA seeks to create a comprehensive technology program for our homeless clients that offers on site educational classes such as GED, ESL and computer courses. In 2007 the housing readiness program will be converted into a multi-media program that is more interactive and educational to our families preparing to reenter permanent housing and employment. We are also in the process of implementing an arts and science based after-school program for children.
Mannie L. Wilson Towers ~ Technology for Low-Income Seniors
WHGA seeks to create a comprehensive program that will introduce and encourage the use of technology among our seniors. Some of our endeavors over the next two years include creating a technology based network that will foster the sharing and the dissemination of important information throughout the Harlem’s senior citizen community.