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West End Works Neighborhood Employment Center (WEWNEC)

West End Works NEC - open Oct 2012!

Elliott now has a new Neighborhood Employment Center (NEC) and Technology Lab with FREE WIFI and Laptops. This is a public facility near Lorenz and Chartiers, housed in the Emanuel United Methodist Church, on the left of Lorenz when you walk towards the fire house.

Location: Emanuel United Methodist Church 825 Lorenz Avenue 15220
Hours: Monday - Friday 10am to 9pm, Sat 10am-2pm.

  • Mon 6-9: Resumes
  • Tues 6-9: General Computer Training (beginner to advanced, mostly 1-on-1).
  • Wed 6: Online applications, for jobs that require you to apply online.
  • Thu 6-7:30: Trama Support (click for flyer with more info)
  • Fri 6pm: Movie night
  • Sat starting in Oct 2013: YOGA - times to come soon.

West End Works is brought to you by the City of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Partnership, Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, Neighborhood Learning Alliance, Pittsburgh Foundation, and US Department of Commerce, NTIA.

For more information:

WWNEC INFO FLIER


History:

Our Councilwoman Kail-Smith worked with Stephen MacIsaac the executive director of Neighborhood Learning Alliance (previously Wireless Neighborhoods), a group that has set up community computer centers in Pittsburgh.

Elliott was one strong candidate for possible locations for a community computer center, and on July 28th 2012 and agreement was reached with Emanuel United Methodist Church (856 Crucible Street Pittsburgh, PA 15220) to host the center there for the near future opening the first week in Sept 2012. Cris Mooney will be involved as the technical contact in our community.

In October of 2012 the center opened in the Emanuel United Methodist Church at 856 Crucible Street in Elliott!

These centers will also provide employment services, and may also play a strong role in the on-going "summer youth employment" program.

Current folks involved (with links):

Update Oct 30, 2012: The center is open! Emanuel United Methodist Church at 856 Crucible Street in Elliott.

Update Sept 25, 2012: Cris Mooney met with Jim Lenkner of Neighborhood Learning Alliance in the hill district, and moved a couch, tables, chairs, and a copier over to the Emanuel United Methodist Church. Things are in motion!

Update July 28, 2012: Folks gathered to review feedback from the board of the Emanuel United Methodist Church, which was positive. Councilwoman Kail-Smith and Stephen MacIsaac the executive director of the Neighborhood Learning Alliance reached an agreement with the Emanuel United Methodist Church for use of the space, and committed to opening at this location the first week in September if all goes well.

Update July 17, 2012: Cris Mooney talked with Jim Lenkner of Neighborhood Learning Alliance who was able to confirm with the group's technical staff that a "fixed internet address" is not required for their cmoputer setup, and thus the current Internet service in place at the Emanuel United Methodist Church is sufficient which further increases the applicability of that location.

Update July 14, 2012: Councilwoman Kail-Smith and Stephanie Gottschalk of the Emanuel United Methodist Church met with Stephen MacIsaac the executive director of the Neighborhood Learning Alliance, Cris Mooney and Gena Turner of the Elliott Community Group, and two other local employment center activists (Scott Albert from the The McKees Rocks Employment & Training Center (schedule) and Julie Jarbeck, chief of staff in State Representative Dan Deasy's office). The meeting was at the Emanuel United Methodist Church (856 Crucible Street Pittsburgh, PA 15220), and their was tentative agreement to proceed at this location within a month based on agreement from the church board.

Update July 11, 2012: Cris met with Stephen MacIsaac the executive director and Jim Lenkner of Neighborhood Learning Alliance. They talked about the community in Elliott, the need of residents there and in surrounding communities, accessibility, and possible resources. The Neighborhood Learning Alliance has another center that must be relocated and thus is immediately prepared to set up 20-30 modern notebook computers in any appropriate site with a quality Internet connection. [Late note: at this meeting it was considered what location(s) and technique(s) would be most likely to be able to online quickly AND reach the largest number of members in the community that need these services - what place would help best achieve the purpose of the Neighborhood Learning Alliance (a vision shared with Councilwoman Kail-Smith and himself). As a resident of Elliott since 1993, and in lioght of previous delay of this objective "looking forspace", Cris suggested that it appeared the Churches were reaching the most folks in the community, and that he had experience with Stephanie Gottschalk of the Emanuel United Methodist Church from her volunteer affiliation with the Elliott Community Group, and moreover that he had been in the church to offer friendly neighborhood help with their computer network and thus knew that site might have space, and that it definitely already had a good high speed internet connection. considering this space is not a neutral "community" space, it is important here to note that Cris has no personal affiliation with any churches in the area, nor members of the churches, and this this recommendation was based purely on perception of value to the Neighborhood Learning Alliance project. It should also be noted that these notes were made entirely by Cris (webmaster), as is most all text on this website - cris, 24-Jan-2013]

Update July 9, 2012: Multiple meetings have been scheduled for this week to talk about more immediate plans to resume objectives of a training center in the west end. Cris will meet with Stephen MacIsaac the executive director of Neighborhood Learning Alliance (previously "Wireless Neighborhoods") and mid-week, and they will both meet with our Councilwoman Kail-Smith and Stephanie Gottschalk to talk possible plans this weekend.

Update June 27, 2011: Councilwoman Kail-Smith continues to be in contact with Cris about this possible venture. At this point she is working to find an appropriate location, and expects to also work with Brahm to pursue writing up grants. Until an applicable site is located, the rest of the project is in a waiting stage. In the meantime: Justin Brown, Executive Director of The Education Partnership reached out through our Councilwoman to see if there was any computer training in the area, and the following resource was found that might be of use to someone reading here:

"New Horizons Computer Learning Center" in the Parkway Center mall area has a category of classes "PC Desktop Training" which has many short courses that might be useful: for example "1 Day - Computers Made Easy". They also have many other single or double day classes, in many applications like Excel or PowerPoint that might be useful. They also have a category of "Business Skills Training" that might offer some value as well, with things like "Managing Multigenerational Teams - 1 Day" or something. However, as mentioned before, we have no experience with this group.

New Horizons Computer Learning Center
5 Parkway Center #200, Pittsburgh, PA
(412) 920-5100

Links:

- http://www.newhorizons.com/localweb/default.aspx?groupid=353
- http://tinyurl.com/3nj6psp  (course catalog)
- Contact Cris

Update May 2, 2011: Employment Computer Center - At the May 2nd meeting Councilwoman Kail-Smith said she would like to look to possibly work specifically with someone to see if she can perhaps move on this herself if Stephen's project continues to stall out. Cris and Councilwoman Kail-Smith will try and arrange a meeting to talk more. Cris since has provided a list of available times to Councilwoman Kail-Smith, and she sent mail asking her staff to schedule some time. Cris also put together a rough "talking points" list just to help get ideas started:

Questions:
 
 1. Is there a stated "purpose", a "mission statement", to set direction and justify funding?
 2. Is there a plan to limit access to Internet (games/illicit material)?
 3. Will Internet be donated or paid?
 4. How many seats?
 5. Location?
 6. Hours of operation?

Hardware ideas:
 
 Internet: $150 initial, $75/mo ongoing/maint.
 
 Networking $300 initial, $5/month ongoing/maint.
    - $200 24 port Gigabit router
    - $150 Firewall/content management
 
 Per seat: $600 initial, $10/month ongoing/maint.
    - Windows XP system ($300)
    - 21" LCD display ($120)
    - Headphones ($20)
    - Table/Chair ($150)
    - Cabling ($10)

Possibilities:

  • Emanuel United Methodist Church (856 Crucible Street Pittsburgh, PA 15220) is being considered.
  • Knights of Columbus at 725 Lorenz is a strong possibility (now owned by The New Life Fellowship Church).
  • The building on the corner of Lorenz and Chartiers has been ruled out.

Links:

 

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