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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 29, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 28
Urban Health Institute Unveils Computer Training Center

The 9,000-square-foot East Baltimore Technical Resource Center will give local residents easy cost-free access to computer training and repair work instruction.

By John Lazarou
Johns Hopkins Medicine

The Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute and its partner organizations celebrated the Wednesday opening of the institute's East Baltimore Technical Resource Center with a ribbon cutting and open house. Roughly 100 people from the community and Johns Hopkins attended the event, including President William R. Brody and Jerome Schnydman, executive assistant to the president.

"The center will be a place of new beginnings," Brody said when he addressed the guests. "The outpouring of support from community organizations, neighborhood churches and the residents of Historic East Baltimore has been a tremendous help in making this center a reality. It will nicely complement the work of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute in trying to bring better health, housing and economic opportunities for all."

The new facility, home to 9,000 square feet of computer learning labs and a venue for a wide range of general computing and technical courses, is designed to provide local residents with easy cost-free access to computer training. Trainees also can learn computer repair and maintenance. Refurbished computers will be distributed to East Baltimore community-based organizations, schools and homes.

Claude Earl Fox, director of the Urban Health Institute, said that the new facility was made possible with the help of several organizations and their commitment to help build a healthier community. "This center will provide skills necessary in today's job market," Fox said. "It also provides computers, donated by Johns Hopkins University, to assist community-based organizations in their efforts to improve computer literacy in the community."

The East Baltimore Technical Resource Center, located at 1819 E. Preston St., is the first site of its kind in East Baltimore. The building, former home of the Diamond Press, was donated by the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition, known as HEBCAC, and will be staffed via VISTA, the Volunteers in Service to America program. Training seminars and courses will be offered through a partnership between the training center, the Maryland Center for Arts and Technology and Baltimore City Community College. Other important organizations involved with the project are Senior Cyber Net, Phoenix Project, Space Hope, Gaining Access to Training and Employment, University of Baltimore's Center for Community Technology Services, Madison East-End Community Association and Rose Street Community Center.

According to Tom Morford, deputy director of the Urban Health Institute, "The long-range plan for the center is not only to provide training opportunities but also to help bridge the digital divide by providing computers for additional learning opportunities throughout the community. We will continue to establish computer learning labs across the city, with the refurbished computers, to further improve computer literacy."

For more about the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, go to


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