SIU’s tech suite at Eurma Hayes Center offers free broadband, other benefits

Carbondale, ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the Eurma C. Hayes Community Center celebrated November. 3 Grand opening of the Community Technology Center (CTC), a three-room suite where community members can use free broadband, view tablets, print documents and learn how technology can benefit small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Representatives from the University and the Eurma Hayes Center signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The public is then invited to tour the CTC, a project funded by $30,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and the Economic Opportunity Broadband Readiness Program in partnership with the Illinois Innovation Network. It is also supported by donations of furniture, trolleys and tables from educational institutions.

SIU Carbondale President Austin A. Lane said the CTC is a good fit for SIU Carbondale’s strategic plan, “Imagine 2030,” which includes a pillar of strengthening partnerships.

“CTC is a perfect example of collaboration within our community to energize society,” he said. “Access to broadband is essential in today’s connected world, which can be a challenge in rural areas. We are proud Excited to partner with the Broadband READY program to provide access to this technology to people who might not otherwise have access to it. I am excited to see how CTC will make an impact on high school students, seniors, business professionals and many others.”

Bob Wills, executive director of the Eurma Hayes Center, agrees that CTC will benefit people at many stages of life.

“It’s a great opportunity for the Northeast of the community — for Carbondale and the region as a whole — to learn more about the technology that runs the world,” he said. “It’s a remarkable idea.”

The suite features an open-plan community room where people can check out Chromebooks and use broadband connections, a seminar room and a classroom where professionals can learn how to use technology for their business, such as creating a website or using Excel. Gary Kinsel, professor and research and innovation strategist in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences, said CTC’s products will be based on community feedback.


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