Economic Development Newsroom

New Computer Lab at Nia Center Helps Fight Cancer

Friday October 11, 2013

A new high-tech computer lab at the Nia Center on West Broadway will help adults earn their high school diplomas and improve their career skills – while simultaneously being used for medical research to fight cancer.

The new computer lab, consisting of 23 Apple computers, will be used by adults seeking career path counseling and GED preparatory classes, through JCPS Adult Education. A local company, Dataseam, also will use the computing power of the grid infrastructure of those machines – along with thousands of others networked statewide – to provide supercomputing power for the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

With this unique partnership, the city has added another arrow in its quiver of providing professional workforce training and college-to-career opportunities, while supporting potentially life-saving research at the University of Louisville.

“The Nia Center is home to multiple agencies that help businesses get their start as well as providing individuals with GED to college opportunities,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Now students can learn in a state-of-the-art environment that is literally trying to cure cancer.”

With a large network of computers, it is now possible for the Brown Cancer Center, via Dataseam, to perform cancer research in Louisville that is powering statewide economic development through new products, discoveries and innovations. Dataseam operates in 51

K-12 school systems within 38 counties throughout Kentucky; the Nia Center is the only site in Louisville where this cutting-edge cancer research is being performed.

"Through training nearly 1,000 individuals per year, we have helped large enterprises across the state improve their use and integration of computers,” said Dataseam CEO, Brian Gupton. “To bring home the same opportunities offered to other Kentuckians statewide for nearly 10 years is a big and new chapter of the Dataseam story."

Through the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, the University of Louisville is a partner in this research and is one more way they are active in West Louisville as part of their Signature Partnership. “This important new partnership between the city, JCPS and Dataseam is great news for our citizens because it will help UofL expand cancer research as well as our education and entrepreneurship initiatives in west Louisville," said University President James Ramsey.

JCPS, through the Kentucky Career Center, has operated the Nia Center’s computer lab where it provides adult education programs, GED classes, interest inventories, and career explorations in the various work sectors to determine the best route onto the career pathway of choice.

“The improved Nia Center computer lab will give clients tools and resources that allow them to expand their searches and readiness for training and employment through various workshops,” said JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens. “We must always work from the larger perspective that a well-trained and educated workforce leads to a stronger economy.”

Future plans for this site include a forum where online higher education providers can expand offerings to include college prep and college credit courses. Dataseam, Kentucky’s only Apple Authorized Training Center, and a training provider under the federal Workforce Investment Act, also will partner with KentuckianaWorks to provide industry-standard technical certifications.