BRONZEVILLE — The Chicago Housing Authority opened its fifth technology center this week, and staff member Victor Clifton is already looking forward to helping residents beef up their computer skills like he has.
Clifton, 22, is a CHA resident who was hired as a tech assistant. He said the tech courses offered at the center are a great way to get training for the future.
“I was so excited and blessed to see that someone believes in me and will give me a chance to show my ability to grow within this field,” said Clifton. “I live within the community and am looking forward to working closely with the residents to help them use the computer lab and hope they take advantage of the computer courses I did.”
The tech center will offer tech classes that provide instruction in computer literacy, online resource searches and assistance with Microsoft Office and other applications. Clifton said the courses are designed to enhance computer literacy through instructor-assisted and self-paced learning. Additionally, the center will offer residents job readiness training, resume building and literacy programs.
The Lake Parc Technology Center, 3983 S. Lake Park Ave., is located inside of Lake Parc Place, a subsidized apartment buildings for low-income residents.
The new tech center, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, is equipped with 22 computers for residents' use.
“The technology center will link Lake Parc Place and its residents to the broader Chicago area, with its resources and employment opportunities,” said Charles Woodyard, chief executive officer for the CHA, at a grand opening Wednesday.
Matt Aguilar, a spokesman for the CHA, said the new center is the fifth center "made possible by the federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant that CHA received in partnership with the city of Chicago to provide technology access to Chicagoans."
The four other tech centers already up and running are at the Altgeld Gardens, Dearborn Homes and Lawndale Gardens housing complexes, and at the Charles A. Hayes Family Investment Center.
He said while three additional centers have been provided for by the grant, there is no timetable for when they will open. They will be located at the Wentworth Gardens, Lowden Homes and Major Adams housing developments.
For Clifton, working at the tech center further fuels his desire to someday become an entrepreneur.
“I’d like to put the first indoor skate park in Chicago,” he said. “We’re the only major city that does not have a skate park that is indoors and just for us. All my friends agree it would work here.”