A center to promote technology literacy in the community is opening in downtown Holyoke. One year after the Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center (PAFEC) opened on the third and fourth floors of the new Holyoke Transportation Center, Holyoke Community College (HCC) is opening the Thomas Gill III Community Technology Center on the first floor of the building.
Named in memory of Tom Gill, a member of the HCC information technology staff, the center will officially open with a dedication ceremony on Wednesday, September 21, at 10:00 a.m. at the Holyoke Transportation Center, 206 Maple Street.
Created to increase technology literacy in the community and support the education and workforce programming of the PAFEC, the technology center will offer free or low cost basic computer and software classes in English and Spanish. It will also provide lab space for adult basic education (ABE) and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes, GED preparation, Accuplacer (college placement) prep courses, as well as a career readiness certificate pilot program and Basic Essentials Skill Training for the Workplace (BEST) program.
The center will also host a series of early morning webinars for busy professionals, on topics that include strategies for problem solving and decision making, changing employee behavior, managing customer complaints, and more.
In addition to the Gill Technology Center, the first floor will be home to Five Colleges, Inc. Community Based Education, a program that supports the work of students and faculty from the University of Massachusetts and Mt. Holyoke, Smith, Amherst and Hampshire colleges who are engaged with community organizations in the area. A new cafe, Mountain Joe to Go, a Log Cabin and Delaney House company, will provide coffee, beverages, sandwiches, and meals to-go for building staff and visitors, as well as area businesses and residents.
Interested in the classes offered at the Gill Technology Center? Contact HCC Community Services at (413) 552-2320.