Alberta Computers for Schools (ACFS) is a registered not-for-profit association that receives, refurbishes and redistributes computers to schools, libraries, Indigenous Communities and not-for-profit organizations. Since 1994, ACFS has distributed more than 200,000 computers primarily to K-12 schools across Alberta.
In addition to having a strong working relationship with the Government of Alberta, Alberta Computers for Schools has an effective partnership with the Government of Canada. ACFS receives support from Innovations, Science and Economic Development Canada, and also receives computers from many other Federal government agencies and departments.
In September of 2017, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced an important milestone for the national Computers for Schools program; 1.5 million computers delivered across Canada.
The Honourable Navdeep Bains spoke to the importance of this achievement. “My congratulations to everyone involved with Computers for Schools. This is a big milestone, and it marks another important step in creating the innovation culture that will sustain our job growth and ensure our success in the digital age. We especially need more women and other under-represented groups to learn the digital skills they need for the jobs of the future. Canada will only succeed if we use everybody’s talents to their full potential.”
The milestone was celebrated by Kari Cope, Executive Director of ACFS. “We are proud that Alberta has played a role in the delivery of 1.5 million computers across Canada, with our contribution of over 200,000 computers delivered in Alberta. I would like to thank our Federal and Provincial government partners as well as our private sector partners and sponsors for supporting this important program.”
Alberta Computers for Schools is a proud sponsor of the both the Provincial Skills Canada Competition and the 24th annual Skills Canada National Competition.
The Provincial Skills Canada Competition features high school and post-secondary students from across Alberta competing in trade and technical events. The competition areas range from autobody repair to welding, graphic design to baking. During the two-day competition, each student specializes in one event area and must complete a project that has been designed by experts in that field. Provincial winners then move on to the Skills Canada National Competition.
Started in 1994, the Skills Canada National Competition is the only national, Olympic-style, multi-trade and technology competition for young students and apprentices in the country.
Every year, the event features approximately 500 young people from all regions of Canada competing in over 40 trade and technology areas. Students strive to be crowned best in the nation in their chosen trade or technology. By providing a forum where Canadian youth can compete at the national level, the Skills Canada National Competition provides hands-on work experience related to skilled trade and technology careers. Through these competitions, Skills Canada also seeks to raise awareness about skilled trade and technology sectors.
Kari Cope, Executive Director of Alberta Computers for Schools, sees this as a complimentary partnership for her organization.
“This is an ideal event for Alberta Computers for Schools to support. Our organization assists young Albertans with opportunities to learn and grow into a career. The Provincial and National Skills Canada Competitions focus on and celebrate the achievements of these youth. And with this year’s national competition being held in Edmonton, we are happy to partner with these important events.”
Alberta’s Provincial Skills Competition takes Place May 30th to June 1st, 2018. The 24th Annual Skills Canada National Competition is June 3rd to 6th, 2018. Both events are hosted at the Edmonton Expo Centre.
Alberta Computers for Schools is pleased to announce our participation in the TELUS Internet for Good program. This pilot project offers low-cost internet and refurbished computers at a greatly reduced price to single parent families receiving financial support through the Alberta Works Income Support and Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped programs. We would also like to thank our other partners on this project – Alberta’s Ministry of Human Services, the Alberta Library and the Royal Conservatory.
With support from Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) ,Computers for Schools offers a Technical Work Experience Program (TWEP), which provides Alberta youth between the ages of 15-30 with practical work experience to ease the transition between education and employment. We provide about 20-26 weeks of work experience for approximately 10 youth at any given time. Students gain supervised, hands-on experience developing the following technical skills: • Erasing, formatting, installing and testing hard drives and software • Using diagnostic tools and software • Safely dismantling computers for salvageable parts • Preparing e-waste for shipping to certified recycles Practical workplace skills: • Teamwork • Project Management • Time management To participate in the TWEP program you must meet the following criteria: • between 15 and 30 years of age (at intake) • have demonstrated skills achievement at the post secondary level-this means that you must have more than a high school diploma • a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person who has been granted refugee status in Canada • legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial legislation and regulations • not in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
The national Computers for Schools #Welcome Refugee project wrapped up at the end of December .We are very proud to have participated in the Government of Canada’s initiative to support Syrian refugees as they settle into life in Canada. Access to technology and the internet is necessary for all Canadians in order to participate in our society and economy. We are happy to announce that we delivered 957 computers to Syrian refugee families across Alberta in 2016. ACFS would like to thank all of our partners, donors, settlement agencies , volunteers and technicians who helped us to make it possible.