Spring-Summer 2005

Community Agency Integration at Cincinnati's Northwest CTC

Cincinnati 's Northwest Community Technology Center, now in the third year of a three year grant from Verizon through the Ohio Community Computing Network (OCCN), has become the focal point of community activities. In important ways, this is due to its integration with other key community programs.

The Northwest CTC is located in the Northwest Family Resource Center, an old elementary school building, that also houses the Northwest Branch of the Portsmouth Public Library, the Community Action Head Start Union Center, two of South Central Ohio Educational Service Center's Educational Disadvantaged units, a PreSchool Special Needs class, Scioto County Even Start, and the Scioto County ABLE/GED Program. The gymnasium is used daily for youth sports leagues, wedding receptions, fund raisers, reunions, and community meetings.

Kids at the Northwest CTC

Kids at the Northwest CTC

Thus, while children are at Biddy Basketball practice, parents utilize the CTC for a variety of purposes, mostly to access the Internet. The CTC works in conjunction with the library and Even Start on Family Fun Night activities. The library conducts classes for adults; Even Start provides activities for the very young to five year olds, while the CTC hosts the 6 to 15 year olds in various computer-related educational activities. The CTC is also the only avenue for some students to access the Northwest Local Schools Home Work On-Line program. In the summer, the CTC offers computer-assisted remediation and proficiency test refresher classes.

The CTC is the only location in Scioto , western Adams and southwestern Pike Counties where residents can make copies, use a fax machine, and access the world of the Internet at no cost. For adults, it's a key place for job search activities through the Scioto County Work Force Development initiative and the One Stop. It's at the CTC where residents can update and submit résumés and search for jobs locally and statewide through the State of Ohio 's SCOTI on-line system. This service alone saves some residents over a thirty mile trip into Portsmouth .

All the above is possible through the cooperation and shared resources of the Northwest Family Resource Center partners. Scioto County ABLE manages the CTC and with Even Start cost shares the CTC personnel needs. The ABLE/GED program benefits from the CTC's computer lab and purchases equipment and supplies that are used by both. Utilities and upkeep are in-kind contributions from the Northwest Local School District. Special programs and activities costs are interwoven into the overall partners contributions.

The Northwest CTC is an excellent example of successful collaboration.

Charley Flaig Charley Flaig is the Director of the Scioto County Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) Program and oversees the Northwest CTC.  A retired Air Force NonCommissioned Officer with 18 years in the Adult Basic Education business, Charley manages twelve ABLE sites throughout Scioto County. 


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