PHILADELPHIA--()--On Saturday, September 18, more than 40 computers, together with servers and other IT equipment, will be delivered to The Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center (PVMSEC).
“However, those designated dollars often do not cover all of the expenses necessary to provide our comprehensive services”
The PVMSEC, which is located at 213-217 N. 4th Street in Philadelphia, just beneath the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, is an important part of the greater Philadelphia community, helping Veterans through a wide range of free services such as training for employment, resource assistance, health and benefits counseling and homeless assistance.
The computers and equipment, which are being provided by Philadelphia-based Peirce College, will be used by the PVMSEC’s Veterans in their training classes. Peirce will deliver and set up the computers prior to their presentation, which will take place at 11:00 a.m. at the PVMSEC headquarters.
“This significant contribution by Peirce College is a dream come true,” says Marsha Four, PVMSEC executive director. “Major components of the services we provide are education and training. The computers and equipment are significant enhancements to our programs.”
Four says the PVMSEC receives most of its funding for employment and training grants from the U.S. Department of Labor. “However, those designated dollars often do not cover all of the expenses necessary to provide our comprehensive services,” Four says.
As a nonprofit, Four and her staff continually search for additional funding to meet the primary need for ongoing and expanded services for the Veterans, as well as building infrastructure needs.
Acknowledging the shoestring budget, Four adds, “One of our major challenges is to balance the dollars we receive with the needs of our Veterans in order to provide them with the most appropriate services. We must make the most of every single penny. That is why the relationship with Peirce is so important, especially for our Veterans. Peirce provides an added dimension to the services we can provide Veterans.”
For Peirce to have embraced the PVMSEC and its mission in the way they have has been a unique experience, Four says. “We discovered Peirce College has a very strong tie to Veteran’s education. Peirce was founded to provide training and education for returning Veterans of the Civil War. This partnership demonstrates the linkage of our shared mission and goals,” she says.
“We are committed to building closer relationships within the Philadelphia communities,” says Peirce President and Chief Executive Officer James Mergiotti. “The Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center is an organization that deserves our support to help them achieve their goals. It is also a natural connection with what has been the College’s historical focus of providing practical higher education for working adults, especially in the Philadelphia region.”
Mergiotti says Peirce is taking the first steps in the development of a relationship with the PVMSEC. “We want to make a difference and one way we can achieve that is through our technology expertise—one of Peirce College’s strengths—to help Veterans further develop their personal skills and confidence,” he says.
To James McNesby, president of the PVMSEC’s Executive Board of Directors, the partnership with Peirce is an investment in the future, not only for Veterans but also the city. “When you contribute through an educational and personal development process such as this, you are helping individuals, which in turn helps our communities,” McNesby says.
“The computers and equipment will improve the classroom environment and increase the Veterans’ ability to learn the newest technology, so that they will be better suited for a job,” said Lincoln Strehle, the PVMSEC’s director of development. The desktops and laptops, including HP and Cisco equipment, also will be used by Veterans for assembly and repair classes.
The PVMSEC has a six-week green business solution class and a 10-week computer repair class that helps prepare Veterans to obtain their A+ certification. Thanks to a Pennsylvania Workforce Development Grant, the PVMSEC recently implemented a Veterans IT training academy—a five-week advanced class, which takes A+ recipients to the next level and teaches Veterans more advanced technologies, such as server virtualization.
Workshops are also provided on resume writing, interview techniques, financial and household budget skills, as well as life skills. “We offer Veterans a helping hand, a better life,” Strehle says.
Peirce is also assisting the PVMSEC’s IT staff in upgrading their network and building a stronger IT infrastructure so they can better serve and support the Veterans. “This is more than just PCs; it’s a network solution,” says Christopher Duffy, Peirce chief information officer, who is heading up the initiative with the PVMSEC. “We asked what can we do to help them reach and support their audiences more effectively and enable them to create more success.”
The PVMSEC serves approximately 2,500 Veterans each year, of which 1,500 are in the workforce training programs. Over 350 Veterans are placed in jobs each year. While the majority of the Veterans are from Southeast Pennsylvania, Northern Delaware and Southern New Jersey, the PVMSEC provides services free of charge to all honorably discharged Veterans.
About The Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center, Inc.
Since 1980 the PVMSEC has provided assessment, resources, assistance, opportunities and programs to honorably discharged Veterans in meeting the challenge of their ever-changing needs. The PVMSEC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located at 213-217 N. 4th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19106.
For more information about the PVMSEC, call 215-923-VETS or visit www.PhilaVets.org.
Become a fan of the PVMSEC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pvmsec.
Follow the PVMSEC on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pvmsec.