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Victor R. Lambert (202) 708-0685Friday,
September 27, 1996


DENVER - Secretary Henry G. Cisneros today announced that 25 public housing communities will become Campuses of Learners, where residents can explore the information superhighway, learn computer skills, and train for jobs in today's workplaces.

Cisneros said the Campuses of Learners "can become the new model for public housing - a place where people live temporarily while learning the skills they need to become self-sufficient."

Cisneros announced the initiative by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today in Denver, where he opened a new Campus of Learners facility at the North Lincoln Park Development.

Families living on a Campus will receive training in new telecommunications and computer technology, and participate in job training and educational programs that will prepare them to compete in today's increasingly complex workplace.

The designees include public housing sites in St. Louis County; Union City, N.J.; Wilmington, Del.; South Bend, Ind.; Woonsocket, R.I.; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago; Cuyahoga, Cleveland; San Diego; Evansville, Ind.; San Francisco; Seattle; East Baton Rouge; East St. Louis, Ill.; Fort Worth, Texas; Hartford, Conn.; County of Los Angeles; Milwaukee; New Haven, Conn.; Omaha, Neb.; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Prince George's County, Largo, Md.; Portland, Ore.; and Denver.

Public housing authorities designated as Campuses of Learners will work with local school districts to develop curricula, strengthen parent-teacher relationships, establish after-school activities, create adult education classes, and encourage parental involvement. In addition, Campuses of Learners will draw from the resources of universities, vocational or technical institutes, and colleges through the creation of specialized education and technology classes.

"These opportunities will enable lower-income Americans living in public housing to become productive participants in America's marketplace," Cisneros said. "Providing technology to inner-city youth is not some special benefit. It's an investment the nation must make to give our young people the tools they need to compete and win in the global economy."

Cisneros said that the initiative complements President Clinton's welfare reform effort, providing public housing families with the skills needed to find jobs and move off of the welfare rolls.

The initiative will require that all participants living on a Campus of Learners be enrolled in an education program of some kind. Every apartment will be wired to facilitate the latest computer technology, and computer laboratory sites will be available for computer classes, language skills enhancement sessions, life skills training, and GED classes. Efforts also will be made to accommodate the schedules of children, the elderly, and working fathers and mothers.

The business community and other private sector partners also will be involved. Supporting the 25 sites will be an array of corporations and companies that will provide internships, job training and employment opportunities, mentoring for children and adults, telecommunications resources, after-school youth sports, apprenticeship programs for youth, and job training positions for adults.

Education programs established at participating public housing sites will last between three and five years, and residents will receive a certificate upon completion.

"This initiative provides thousands of public housing residents with the opportunity to live in a campus-like setting that is focused on learning," said Cisneros. "Offering youth and adult residents education and training with computers and more advanced technology will help ensure that they receive the skills needed to achieve meaningful employment and become self-reliant."

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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