(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
As a member of Digit All Systems’ Street Geekz, Tracie Leonard services PCs for people in Baltimore city. On Friday, DAS announced a new partnership that will introduce an automated PC servicing program called Fresh Start.
The new tool, which is made by CyberSpa, isn’t designed to render Leonard obsolete. Instead, it’s designed to create more Street Geekz.
That’s because certified technicians like Leonard are the reason DAS exists. It’s a nonprofit that offers technical training for people from disadvantaged communities, and, in turn, empowers those newly-certified technicians to go out and repair computers for other members of their community.
With access to CyberSpa’s program, DAS CEO Lance Lucas believes the Street Geekz will have a viable repair option that allows them to make money.
“We want to make sure that now that they are trained, they are tested, they are certified, that they have a place to work,” Lucas said Friday.
FreshStart is designed to restore older Windows machines. It requires removing a hard drive, but can be used in a lot of repair scenarios and is also designed for older PCs. Even when a hard drive is restored, personal files remain on the hard drive.
Under the DAS partnership, each time one of the Street Geekz installs the program, they will get $20 on top of what they make for the repairs. CyberSpa CEO Allen Shay said the automation can speed up repair times for the technicians.
“The hardest thing about FreshStart is removing a hard drive. Everything else is just three screens and you’re done,” Shay said.
The program is still cheap enough that it squares with an essential part of what’s made the Street Geekz successful so far: the ability to charge less than computer repair shops.
“People don’t want to pay $300 for computer repair. We’re doing computer repair for $150,” Tracie Leonard said, referring to the $159 price of the service with FreshStart.
Leonard and his brother Trayvon are known around DAS as the Tech Twins.
DAS also has a presence in D.C. and New Orleans, and plans to introduce FreshStart there. Lucas believes other cities won’t be far behind.-30-
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