Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) and the Broome County Urban League celebrated the grand opening of a new Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN) lab at the Leagues Technology Center in Binghamton today. Assemblywoman Lupardo was joined by William Chalmers, Assistant Provost and Director of Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) for the State University of New Yorks University Center for Academic and Workforce Development (UCAWD); Jennifer Lesko, CEO of the Broome County Urban League; David Tanenhaus, Executive Director of the Binghamton Housing Authority; Mayor Matthew Ryan, City of Binghamton; and other special guests.
Assemblywoman Lupardo secured an initial investment of $1 million from UCAWD to fund the ATTAIN lab a first in the Southern Tier. The Broome County Urban League Technology Center on Exchange Street was converted into the main lab, with a satellite lab at the Binghamton Housing Authoritys Carlisle Hills community.
The ATTAIN labs are a network of technology laboratories located across New York States most economically challenged urban and rural communities. They provide expanded workforce development programs and technology access. Now open, the ATTAIN lab will receive ongoing support from the UCAWD, based in Albany, NY.
When I became aware of the ATTAIN program, I knew that it could significantly enhance the already existing programs being offered by the Urban League and Binghamton Housing Authority, said Assemblywoman Lupardo. My goal was encourage this partnership so that our community could benefit from access to state-of-the-art computer education with ongoing support from UCAWD. This recognizes the wonderful work that was already being done here in the Southern Tier.
"ATTAIN not only provides access to the latest technologies and interactive instructional software for community residents, but it is also a means for residents to gain entrance into higher education and a pathway to career opportunities, said William Chalmers, Assistant Provost and Director of EOC.
The Broome County Urban League is very pleased that we are able to enter into this partnership that will enable us to give back to the community and help bridge the digital divide, said Jennifer Lesko, CEO of the Broome County Urban League. This partnership would not have been possible without Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo whose hard work and dedication to this district helped secure the funding that will make this program possible.
I applaud Assemblywoman Lupardos leadership and initiative in searching out and securing this much needed program, said David Tanenhaus, Executive Director of the Binghamton Housing Authority. The ATTAIN labs are a perfect example of resources that were available throughout most of New York except here in the Southern Tier.
"A 21st century city needs 21st century technologies, and the ATTAIN lab brings more of these critical resources here to Binghamton," said Mayor Matt Ryan. "The lab will enhance our workforce development efforts, especially in reaching out to individuals who may not otherwise have the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to excel in today's economy. I applaud Assemblywoman Lupardo for landing the grant that will fund the ATTAIN lab, I thank all the partners who made it possible, and I encourage our residents to take advantage of everything it has to offer."
By partnering with the UCAWD, the center will now be able to offer over 30 interactive occupational, academic, life skills and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses as well continuing to offer Digital Literacy and Unlimited Potential curricula. The labs offer technology training for free to the community and in particular to our communitys low income population. Three new additional staff were hired to operate the new ATTAIN lab and satellite.
The labs are outfitted with IBM computers that have high-speed Internet access and video teleconferencing to encourage e-learning and geographic partnerships for education. In addition, the labs will incorporate hardware that can be easily upgraded to ensure that this technology center and its contents will not become obsolete within a few years.
ATTAIN labs have given thousands of individuals of all ages access to the Internet and interactive multimedia education and training software. The results have been dramatic: a new gateway to education, improved occupational and life skills, better job opportunities, and stronger families.