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BMHA Opens First Technology Lab in Housing Complex

By Dylan Hall

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo residents who otherwise might not have access to computers were given a technological boost Thursday.

Buffalo's Municipal Housing Authority opened a computer lab in the Martha Mitchell Community Center to assist residents in obtaining computer literacy and job skills. The center was funded by the New York State Legislate and is part of the State University of New York's Educational Opportunity Program.

Deputy Assembly Speaker Arthur Eve played a crucial role in acquiring the $22.5 million that funded the lab.

"If you educate somebody, and give him the skill and the knowledge to go out and be employed and create employment that's really the first step," Eve said. "Without a decent education we're lost. We're lost."

Through special software and classes, municipal housing residents will receive lessons ranging from reading to cosmetology and parenting.

Crystal Baker is a resident who said learning to type and having access to e-mail and the World Wide Web will help her get a better job.

"My dream is be my own entrepreneur," Baker said. "But I know there's a lot of money in computers so that's what I'm going to do."

SUNY's EOC program consists of 65 centers on college campuses across the state. But this is the first one to be built directly in a public housing complex.