New OCCHA Tech Lab Opens

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Ten percent of Youngstown’s population is Hispanic, which is a three percent increase between 2000 and 2010. A large part of that population turns to organizations like OCCHA for services. Friday, the non-profit organization held a ribbon cutting on a new technology lab to help serve the Hispanic community.

About 90 percent of OCCHA’s clients are low income and do not have a computer or internet access at home. Those residents rely on the technology at the agency on Youngstown’s South Side.

“We had a previous lab that wasn’t very functional,” said Susan Nieves, executive director OCCHA. “When I came on board last June, we only had three computers that worked at a very minimal level.”

Time Warner Cable and the League of United Latin American Citizens donated and funded OCCHA’s expanded technology center.

“The computers, the broadband access, the internet access, there will be wireless access. There’s a laser printer as well as a projector,” said Don Kosec, vice president, Time Warner Cable business class.

The lab is open to all OCCHA members, and will be used by the youth and senior programs. The lab will also be used for members to fill out job applications, housing assistance applications, and learn English.

“We offer four English classes four days a week. And for those that have barriers, we have a bilingual community leader that goes into the school,” said Nieves.

For more information on the technology lab and hours of operation, call 330-781-1808.

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