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April 26, 2004

Governor announces grant for new computer lab for physically challenged
Charles A. Hayes Family Investment Center will be state-of-the-art

CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced  $62,500 in funding for the Charles A. Hayes Family Investment Center for a new state-of-the-art computer lab designed to meet the needs of the physically challenged.
“I’m pleased we are able to award these funds in order to expand the Center’s programming for people with disabilities,” said Governor Blagojevich.  “The Charles A. Hayes Family Investment Center is an important organization in helping us eliminate the digital divide by making technology access available to everyone in the community.”
The Charles A. Hayes Family Investment Center (FIC) is a community based, not-for-profit technology-learning center.  The Center operates a 50-station computer lab and annually serves more than 1,100 public housing residents, public assistance recipients and other disadvantaged adults and youth in order to provide IT skills and certification.  The new 30-station lab will include special stations equipped with specialized computers for people with visual, auditory and other physical challenges.
“I want to thank the Governor for providing this funding and recognizing the important work done at the Hayes Center in educating our disadvantaged residents on the technology that is so important in their efforts to become self-sufficient,” said State Senator Mattie Hunter.
The Hayes FIC at 4859 South Wabash Avenue in Chicago is housed in a historic building once owned by the United Packinghouse Workers of America and known as the “Packinghouse.”  In the early 1980s ownership of the building was turned over to life-long labor activist Congressman Charles A. Hayes.  Hayes died in 1997 and the building was named in his honor. This is the final installment on a $125,000 grant for the project.


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