Published Nov. 22, 2012
By Ty Beaver, Tri-City Herald
Fifty students at Columbia Basin College will get an early Christmas present Monday.
The community college will give 50 used laptop computers provided by Fluor Federal Services to selected students during a special event at noon in the Gjerde Center.
CBC and Fluor officials said the computers will go far in benefiting the students' lives, from making it easier for them to perform schoolwork away from campus to giving them a resource for their future careers.
The computers will go to students who most often use the laptop loaning program at the CBC library, said CBC President Rich Cummins. College officials compiled a list of students who regularly use the service, some of them checking out a laptop for as long as a week to do their schoolwork.
Tony Umek, vice president of Fluor Federal Services, said the computers are surplus and aren't needed by the company. The company is dedicated to supporting education, and providing the computers to CBC fills a need for students who don't have a computer they can regularly use.
"We put a pretty high emphasis to provide those computers to the community whenever we can," Umek said.
The laptops are a few years old. Fluor IT technicians have readied the computers so they can be used immediately.
Cummins said this isn't the first time when Fluor or another company in the community has sought to support CBC students. The college also has received computers from Washington State University Tri-Cities, while Lockheed Martin helped set up the college's wireless network.
"We're in the mix when people think about who to help," he said.
Published with permission of the Tri-City Herald. Additional news stories can be accessed online at the Tri-City Herald.
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