April 4, 2012
Through SC REACH for Success, a statewide network of Public Computer Centers (PCCs) has been established. For Piedmont Tech, this initiative means that the computer lab was updated in Newberry and is now available for anyone to use.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the people in Newberry,” said Jennifer Wilbanks, dean of county campuses. “This PCC will help us provide computer access to many people who otherwise would not have it.”
Piedmont Technical College now provides public computer labs at all locations in all seven of the counties it serves. The labs are staffed by knowledgeable personnel who are available to help computer users. These labs are available through the $437,000 grant Piedmont Tech received with the SC Technical College System, as part of a grant for $5.9M by the US Department of Commerce – National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The grant will fund South Carolina Ready to Educate, Activate, Connect and provide Health Information for Success - SC REACH for Success initiative.
“Accessibility is a cornerstone of the SC Technical College System. The award of this grant will help us deliver this accessibility to the rural areas we serve,” said Dr. Ray Brooks, president of Piedmont Tech.
The computer lab is open to the public free of charge Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. The staff in the lab are there to provide assistance to not only PTC students, but to members of the community who may have questions.
“We like to see people come in and enjoy the lab,” said Wanda Jones, evening learning resource center coordinator. “We’re always here to assist them if they have any issues and we enjoy helping.”
In addition to the computer access, the labs will also provide regular workshops on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1-2 p.m. on a variety of technology-related topics. Past workshops have included such topics as Microsoft Office basics, intro to Facebook, setting up e-mail and looking for and applying for jobs online. All of the workshops are free and open to adults in the community.
“With the economy the way it is, we are trying to focus on things to help people build job skills,” said Wilbanks. “We will work to accommodate any special requests from individuals who have a specific need.”
The PCC in the new campus will be larger and equipped with wireless connections throughout the facility.
“In addition to the lab, we will have a lounge area where individuals can come and use their own laptops with free Wi-Fi,” said Wilbanks. “We hope that will help people even more.”
For more information on Piedmont Tech’s Public Computer Centers, go to www.ptc.edu/library or contact the PCC at your local county campus.
Photo Caption: Piedmont Technical College Newberry Campus now provides a public computer lab to provide computer access to many people who otherwise would not have it. The computer lab is open to the public free of charge Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.