IBM, SeniorNet, the Native American Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Department of the Interior, USDA Rural Development and Tri-District/Chester Adult Education Bring Technology Access and Education to Catawba Indian Nation
Collaborative Announces Grand Opening of NativeAmericanAchievementCenter
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, September 12, 2008 – Continuing its charter to bring technology access and education to rural and low-income Native American reservations, a collaborative partnership sponsored by IBM and including SeniorNet, the Native American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), USDA Rural Development and Tri-District/Chester Adult Education today announced it will open an Achievement Center at the Catawba Indian Nation.
This AchievementCenter will bring free computer access and classes to Catawba reservation residents of all ages and is part of a multi-year, grant-based initiative sponsored by IBM Corporation that is designed to bring technology to remote, underserved Indian reservations whose residents may not be included in the global ‘Information Age.’
As the fifth and final IBM-sponsoredAchievementCenter to be opened by this collaborative over a three-year period, the grand opening of this center for the Catawba Indian Nation will be held on September 12, 2008 in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
The agenda for the grand opening events is as follows:
CatawbaIndianNationTechnologyAchievementCenter Grand Opening
996 Avenue of the Nations
Rock Hill, South Carolina29730
Friday, September 12, 2008
Grand Opening and Welcome Speeches in Round Room
Refreshments and Tour of AchievementCenter
Community Unity Celebration
“We are thankful for the USDA Rural Development grant as well as the donations from TriDistrict/Chester Adult Education, IBM and SeniorNet that are making this computer lab possible,” said Catawba Indian Nation Chief Donald Rodgers. “This provides such a wonderful opportunity to help our tribal members increase their skills.”
The AchievementCenter will also offer Internet access and specific curriculum for the development of necessary workforce skills.
“This initiative has truly pioneered the delivery of technology, economic access and education to rural and low-income Native American communities across the nation,” said Leslie M. Smith, IBM business development executive and SeniorNet board chairman. “We are very pleased to open the fifth AchievementCenter and to realize the positive impact that these centers are having on the lives of Native Americans.”
This collaborative opened its first Achievement Center at the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, Montana in September 2006. Since then, the collaborative has opened additional Achievement Centers at the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Cass Lake, Minnesota, at the Tigua Tribe in Ysleta del sur Pueblo, Texas, and at the Houlton Band of Maliseet in Houlton, Maine.
“SeniorNet is honored to bring its 22 years of computer training experience to this initiative,.thereby empowering residents on remote Native American reservations with the benefits of technology,” said Kristin M. Fabos, SeniorNet executive director. “With the opening of these five Achievement Centers we have made great strides in bridging the Digital Divide, while also extending our mission to include the underserved population of America. SeniorNet is extremely grateful to IBM for their ongoing, generous support.”
"The CatawbaIndianNationAchievementCenter is a gift that will empower tribal members to compete in the global economy, linking their history and culture with peoples and markets worldwide," said Jack R. Stevens, Chief of the Division of Economic Development, Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, U.S. Department of the Interior. "It will enrich lives and develop job skills."
In addition to SeniorNet computer training including introductory to advanced courses, the AchievementCenter will serve as an education center for the Catawba community.
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with over 90 years of leadership.in helping businesses innovate. For more information about IBM, visit www.ibm.com.
Founded in 1986, SeniorNet is an international non-profit organization that has taught hundreds of thousands of adults age 50+ to use computers and the Internet and has enriched the lives of millions through its award-winning website, www.seniornet.org. With a thriving online community and a network of nearly 150 locally run Learning Centers in the U.S. and abroad staffed by more than 3,500 volunteers, SeniorNet offers both offline and online destinations to a population that was originally neglected in the information revolution. With sponsorship by major corporations and foundations, private and public donations, and a backbone of individual members and contributors, SeniorNet continues to grow and offer new opportunities to those touched by its mission. SeniorNet headquarters is located in Santa Clara, CA.
For more information, contact: