April 4, 2013

Washington, PA — Community Action Southwest (CAS) was recently chosen as a recipient of a large grant from Microsoft.  The software grant, totaling just under $150,000, will cover Windows and Microsoft Office upgrades for computers across the agency.

Microsoft, in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), made up to $2 million of software available to non-profit organizations throughout the 13 state Appalachian area.  The grants are intended to help organizations use technology to advance their individual missions with a particular concentration on technical training, digital literacy and workforce development.

CAS’s Computer Learning Centers are an integral part of its Community Action WORKS initiative launched in 2011 as a means to fully integrate self-sufficiency programming by quilting multiple services together; those related to financial literacy, education and training and job development.  Community Action WORKS is at the center of the agency’s mission as it functions to address the cycle of poverty for all of the agency’s clients through programming designed to resolve barriers to self-sufficiency. The initiative comprehensively motivates and supports lower-income individuals to increase household income and manage it in an effort to eliminate their need for public assistance through gainful employment. 

The upgraded computers will be used in the above mentioned programs as well as Head Start classrooms, senior centers, and WIC clinics.  “The upgrades not only create a more efficient environment for our staff, but also gives the community access to the most up-to-date software in our computer labs,” says Darlene Bigler, CEO, “We thank Microsoft and the Appalachian Regional Commission for their generosity and commitment to our community.”