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Center for Excellence opens its doors to the public

Gladys Wright

Gladys Wright looks forward to learning more about computers at Aiken's new Center for Excellence. (June 9, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 This Morning at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, April, 2011

AIKEN, S.C. --- The Aiken Housing Authority debuts their Center For Excellence on Thursday. It features new computers and new software designed to help people with new job opportunities.

Operating a computer and navigating the web are essential tools in today's world. A skill Gladys Wright, who lives in the Stoney Homes Community, wants to learn more about. She said, "I'm not advanced at it but I can turn it on and go on the internet. I'm looking forward to learning more about it myself."

Wright found some help from the Aiken Housing Authority after finding herself in some financial trouble. She now lives in the Stoney Homes and plans to take full advantage of the new Center for Excellence opening Thursday. "I want to learn more about making a spread sheet, because my goal is to start my own business," said Wright.

Ivory Mathews with the Aiken Housing Authority explained, "Housing was created for individuals for short term stay. We're here to provide as many resources as we can."

The Aiken Housing Authority says on average, people stay in public housing for four years. They believe the computers and software in the Center for Excellence room will give them an advantage when they leave. "You can go online and pay your water bill we'll have people come in and teach our customers those basic necessities."

Dan Prather is a consultant for the housing authority and he says, "The foundation here has been designed for people to reach far beyond the walls of Aiken or the U.S. It will allows them to look for jobs in outlying areas."

With cloud networking, people can save and access files from any computer, and the software also allows for video chatting and real time communication with potential employers.

"It's a place that I live that gave me a place to live and shelter, also thinking about helping me with my career," added Wright.

The ribbon cutting for the Center for Excellence if Thursday morning at 10:45. The Aiken Housing Authority says it is not just for the residents but they hope people in Aiken take advantage of their resources as well. They will be open on Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

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