UNITED STATES: New Computer Lab Enables the Teaching of Computer Skills to Prepare Youth for Employment
(MissionNewswire) Working in more than 132 countries around the globe, the Salesians have created a vast network of primary, secondary, vocational and technical schools serving poor youth. With a focus on education and workforce development, the Salesians provide disadvantaged youth an education and valuable resources to help them find livable wage employment all with the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty and helping youth lead meaningful and productive lives.
Through a wide variety of programs, the Salesians make skills training in the latest technologies a priority in order for their students to keep up with the ever-changing job market. On-going partnerships between Salesian schools and local employers in the school communities help bridge the gap between classroom and workplace.
Here in the United States, the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester, New York is the site of a brand new computer lab made possible by CMIT Solutions of Southern Westchester and a donation from Richard Cashin and Robert Niehaus. Consisting of five Windows-based PC’s, six Macs, laser printers and a Mondopad, the new lab, staffed with instructors from The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains, will help disadvantaged youth learn necessary computer skills that can lead to future employment.
“We’re trying to expose children in Port Chester to this technology to get them ready for real life and teach them how to collaborate digitally,” said Paul Okura, president of CMIT Solutions, in a recent Port Chester Daily Voice article about the new computer lab. “By giving the children the opportunity to be exposed to technology at a younger age, they will be no different in their ability to tap into the digital world.”
Students without computer skills often have a tougher time competing in the job market and not just within technology fields. As other employment sectors such as nursing, finance and law move online, students who are unable to navigate the digital world will find themselves struggling to compete for livable wage employment, as Okura further elaborates in the press release.
“By the time these children grow up, they’re going to be much more competitive. They have no barriers, they will absorb information like a sponge, and will be much more technology savvy than their parents,” he adds.
The new computer lab is just one of many services offered at the Don Bosco Community Center, which has been an integral part of the Port Chester community for over eighty years. Other services include a soup kitchen and food pantry, educational programming for youth and adults and help for new immigrants and Port Chester’s long-time residents who have lived near or in poverty for years. The Community Center’s services are open to all, including adult men and women, parents in need, immigrant and day laborers and the elderly, unemployed, working poor and homeless.
Don Bosco Community Center Port Chester, NY – Website