Piedmont Tech to Provide Public Computer Labs through Grant

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.

Through SC REACH for Success, a statewide network of Public Computer Centers (PCCs) has been established. For Piedmont Tech, this initiative means that computer labs have been created in Abbeville, Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda while existing labs were updated in Greenwood, Laurens and Newberry.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for all of the people in our seven-county area,” said Jennifer Wilbanks, dean of county centers. “These PCCs will help us provide computer access to many people who otherwise would not have it.”

The computer labs are open to the public free of charge Monday through Thursday. The larger labs in Greenwood and Laurens also offer some Friday availability. The staff in these labs are there to provide assistance to not only PTC students, but to members of the community who may have questions.

In addition to the computer access, the labs will also provide regular workshops 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.

For more information on Piedmont Tech’s Public Computer Centers, go to www.ptc.edu/library or contact the PCC at your local county center.