| Follow Us:

Innovation & Job News

Coppin to open community computer center with $932K BTOP grant

President Reginald S. Avery announced that Coppin received an award that truly testifies to the University's commitment to initiating outreach efforts critical to the West Baltimore community.

Coppin State University received federal stimulus funding to establish the Coppin Heights-Rosemont Family Computer Center, which will provide broadband computer access, job training, and various educational and mentorship programs to 35,000 residents of the neighboring Coppin Heights-Rosemont community, an area where it is estimated that less than five percent of families subscribe to broadband service.

Coppin is the only institution in the state of Maryland to receive the highly competitive $932,116 grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). In tune with Coppin's current efforts to revitalize the Baltimore community, the Center will "create jobs and improve education and health" by offering 15 continuous training and educational courses that will be led by Coppin State faculty, students, and partners. The Center will house 60 new computer workstations.

Citing that the computer center ensures residents of the Coppin Heights corridor new opportunities for success, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said, "This critical investment will expand computer and Internet service access to Baltimore residents most in need, helping to make them full participants in today's 21st century information economy." He continued, "Having access to the Internet's economic, health and educational benefits will help to improve the quality of life in these communities."

Coppin's new Institute for Local to Global Community Engagement will administer the BTOP grant. President Avery is excited about the grant funding and the computer programs that will include courses in basic and advanced computer techniques, job training, financial literacy, health information, entrepreneurship, nonprofit administration, and global education.

"The Family Computer Center will offer a dynamic set of programs that will enable us to make a true difference in the lives of people," he said. This sentiment was echoed by Dr. York Bradshaw, the Executive Director of the Institute for Local to Global Community Engagement, and the Principal Investigator of the grant award.

"This grant will provide the resources for Coppin State to engage in the community in exciting new ways. We have programs for kindergarten students all the way through senior adults. We will create new jobs and also offer a wide variety of other programs to improve education and health in the community," said Dr. Bradshaw.

Coppin will partner with local businesses and organizations including the Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council, Center for Community Technology Services, Advanced Technology Integrators, Comcast, Rosemont Elementary/Middle School, Coppin Academy High School, and One Economy Corporation.

The BTOP competition is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Awards are highly competitive. There were 364 applicants for the public computer center competition. Of the 364 organizations that applied for funding to establish a public computer center, less than 20 have won awards. Only two other universities across the country have been awarded funding to start such centers-- Michigan State University and the University of Minnesota.

Other winners include state library systems, public housing authorities, workforce development agencies, and other institutions and organizations. Aside from the public computer center competition, there were two other competitions for BTOP funding: broadband infrastructure grants and broadband adoption grants. A total of $7.2 billion has been set aside for several rounds of competition for the different BTOP awards.
Signup for Email Alerts
Share this page
Signup for Email Alerts