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Computer Giveaway

Fifteen people in our area have put in a lot of hard work to become more computer literate in recent months, and their effort is being rewarded.
Fifteen people in our area are grateful for computers they have received. They've put in a lot of hard work becoming more computer literate in recent months. That effort is being rewarded.
 
Pamela Shepard received one of the computers. She was a stay at home Mom for 11 years and decided it was time to get back into the workforce. In order to do so, she needed to come up to speed with technology and computer programs. The state sponsored ATTAIN lab helped with that.

Pamela Shepard says, "The ATTAIN Lab was free of charge. It taught me so much. Everyone there was so pleasant and welcoming. It was just a blessing."

She took several courses, including about Excel and Powerpoint. The skills she learned, helped get her a job working for Broome County.
Her accomplishments at the ATTAIN lab qualified her for the giveaway. Other people got computers because they took computer literacy courses through Binghamton University's Bridging the Digital Divide program, Digital Divide also takes computer donations and then a group of volunteers, refurbishes them. Geotis Global Solutions, a logistics company, collects computers and gives them to the program.

John Yesensky says, "Our material comes in from a variety of sources. Many of our customers provide unwanted IT equipment. We take that IT equipment and we look to find a second home for it, extend its product life."

Geotis has been doing the work on a volunteer basis for the past five years. After the Digital Divide program gets the computers, a retired Vice President for Engineering at IBM, heads up the refurbishing efforts. Doctor Allison Alden is the Director of the Center for Civic Engagement at B.U., which helps oversee Digital Divide.

Dr. Allison Alden says, "We have many people who are interested in looking for jobs, developing the kinds of skills they need to be successful in jobs and of course, for many employers that includes needing to be able to use information technology."

That was the case for Pamela Shepard. Having the computer at home will also help her family.

Pamela says, "With three children ranging in age from 6 - 17, there are reports and projects for school and we're always running to grandma's. I'm incredibly thankful for the computer."

The computers are on loan for the 15 recipients.

Over the past 5 years, about 100 computers have been loaned out.
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