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The mission of Latin Technologies Inc. is bringing computers and technology to deprived Latino adults and children with the objective of training disadvantaged community residents to become computer learned, technicians, networkers and telecommunication specialists. By providing computer education LatinTech wants to empower the community to develop entrepreneurial and employment opportunities creating an environment conductive to further economic growth and social development.
Helping disadvantaged members of the community help themselves is best achieved by preparing them to compete effectively for educational and employment opportunities. Today, that requires computer, telecommunications and technical based training with real life skills. With a complete and utter absence of technology resources for Latinos (Spanish speakers), Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx residents are fatally disadvantaged in both the job and educational markets. Children will develop computer literacy at a critical stage in their educational development at the facility, which will be the equal of those at New York's elite private schools. Internet access will soon open new worlds and create learning opportunities for young people, many of whom seldom venture beyond a five-block radius of their homes. Adults can use the Center to learn and develop the skills in Computer repair, Network, Telecommunication, word processing, spreadsheets and data entry that are increasingly required as minimum competencies in an ever more demanding labor market. The ability to compete effectively for a quality job will help keep them free of reliance on welfare and other entitlements. This center will serve as an economic incubator for local firms by serving as a recruiting and training resource that local business could make use of to grow their business and generate further employment in New York City. Recent studies show that Latinos are far behind other ethnic groups in acquiring the education and skills that enable them to compete in a high-tech world. A number of studies including one by the Latino Issues Forum paint a bleak picture for Hispanics. They're the people struggling most to narrow the digital divide, why are Hispanics lagging behind other ethnic groups in acquiring technical skills? Some observers say the answer is in the home; while over 50 percent of the households of whites and those of Asian heritage have a computer, Latinos are far less likely to have a computer in their home. We go into the homes of low-income families and they might have a big screen television in their room, but still have not made the choice to invest in a personal computer. In most cases that happens because the head of household is not in a career or environment where having a computer is important; they know that their kids at school might have access to it but do not realize the importance of this computer literacy and the impact it will make in completing their education. They have not seen how making that economic choice at home is going to make a difference with them having more information better access et cetera. Latinos face the digital divide outside the home too. They are less likely than other groups to have access to technology at school and the work place. Some people think the most effective way to close the gap is through the schools. Spanish language computers enable Spanish-speaking individuals to access computers for the first time to kind of get a sense of what's out there and what computers can accomplish and accessing a world of information. Those who are trying to bridge the digital divide between Hispanics and the rest of the population say teaching people about computers is the easy part of the task, the challenge is coming up with the resources to give them the opportunity to learn. That is why we are here, to close this technological and cultural gap, bringing quality training, excellent facilities, state of the art computer equipment, and the most important thing, management on human resources and research to develop new techniques that allow the IT development on the community.
- Carolina Arnedo
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