Connecting Cleveland at El Barrio
It’s hard to remember a time when we didn’t use the Internet to connect to the world around us. Connecting with friends, completing schoolwork, applying for jobs and many other activities are now done online. The connections that power these services are critical, which is why LULAC has partnered with AT&T to harness the power of the Internet by bringing state-of-the-art technology to community centers across the country.
On April 8, LULAC and AT&T re-launched the El Barrio Workforce Development Center in Cleveland. El Barrio was founded in 1990 to meet the needs of a growing Hispanic population on the near west side of Cleveland by two charismatic ministers who realized the need for helping people adjust to life in the Cleveland community. Today, the center employs more than 500 staff who reach more than 25,000 people annually and partners with leading hospitals, educational institutions and capacity-focused organizations to give as many people as possible the chance to build a better future.
Friday’s event was an opportunity to build on LULAC and AT&T’s commitment in the digital age– providing community organizations with 21st century technology equipment that will allow them to carry out their missions to connect users to a better future.
Through the AT&T Aspire program, AT&T has committed $350 million to helping give every child a high-quality education and their Nanodegree program launched with Udacity provides online, affordable, self-paced courses that teach skills for entry-level jobs in the tech industry.
LULAC, through its Empower Hispanic America with Technology program, is supporting a network of 60 community technology centers, providing free broadband access and computer-related training to students, parents, and low income individuals. The emphasis is to empower those without access to the Internet by providing that access and training them on using computers and the internet to do school work, college and financial aid searches, job training, job-searches, managing money, English language courses, and citizenship preparation courses.
While the event celebrated the introduction of this new technology to the center, it was also a time to discuss of the importance of technology in securing economic opportunity around the country, which FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel highlighted in her comments at the opening.
AT&T also supported Friday’s event in Cleveland with a training session for the center’s users on managing your digital footprint and using social media safely. The training was part of our Digital You program, created in collaboration with Common Sense Media that can help individuals with privacy, safety and security as you connect online through a series of educational modules provided through the program.
Today’s re-opening is a strong example of LULAC’s and AT&T’s commitment to advancing 21st century communications technology by making sure that technology is accessible.