Other NTR Programs
Note: Some of these programs no longer exist. Some have grown and spun off to independence. Some of these pages haven't been updated in quite a while, but they're still valuable as history.
The Hacktory was formed in November 2007 by a group of art and technology enthusiasts who frequented monthly MakePhilly meetings. This group wanted to provide formal instruction in technical topics and a central meeting place with accessible, sophisticated tools. The first course offered, “Microcontrollers for Artists and Makers” was an instant hit. Stan Pokras, the Executive Director of Nonprofit Technology Resources (NTR), quickly saw how The Hacktory could further his organization’s mission of bridging the digital divide and reducing e-waste and offered space to hold events, store shared equipment, and become The Hacktory’s fiscal sponsor.
In addition to classroom and online training, the Help-Tech program provided participants with real-world experience in computer refurbishing and troubleshooting, something no similar training program could offer. Plus, participants learned valuable computer support skills such as communicating with end-users, researching and providing solutions to hardware and software problems, and documenting problems and their resolutions.
Existing information and communication tools support individuals to connect with each other and to find and use information services for themselves. What we are proposing to do is to empower people we are calling Information Advocates to act as intermediaries between people who can't or don't have time to use the Internet for themselves. Information Advocates are people who help other people and might be thought of as librarians, match makers, or social media instructors for their community.
Other Networks Newsletter (1981-1988) was published and edited by Stan Pokras and Seth Horwitz out of the Public Interest Media Project's office in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. Its tagline was "A Newsletter About Networks of People."
The Tech-Redi program came online in August 2008, after a stunningly fast renovation that transformed nearly the entire NTR building. Funded by the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation, Tech-Redi trained welfare recipients for the workforce by giving them hands-on experience in NTR's warehouse, computer recycling and refurbishing facility, and Computer Thrift Store.
Searching Google brings back info on the enterprises in the Philadelphia area. And searching Wikipedia gives a nice history and description of the place. But neither gives a sense of life here. So, my answer to this is to open up a process that allows more people to contribute.