Diversity & Inclusion
Digital access

KEYSPOT opens 81st public computing center at Drexel’s Dornsife Center in Mantua

While the longterm future of most of the city's KEYSPOT computer labs is not certain since federal funding is set to run out at the end of September, this one is here to stay. It's supported in part by a $10 million gift that's backing the Dornsife Center as a whole.

KEYSPOT partners at the Drexel Dornsife KEYSPOT opening.

KEYSPOT, the city’s federally-funded public-private partnership to bridge the digital divide, opened its 81st computing center at Drexel University‘s Dornsife Center in West Philly’s Mantua neighborhood late last month.

While the long term future of most of the city’s KEYSPOT computer labs is not certain since federal funding is set to run out at the end of September, this one is here to stay. It’s supported in part by a $10 million gift that’s backing the Dornsife Center as a whole, said KEYSPOT project manager Maria Walker.

The Dornsife Center is a neighborhood center spanning 29,400 square feet space at 35th and Spring Garden. The center, funded by the $10 million gift from philanthropists David and Dana Dornsife, has offered free legal and tax services earlier this year but is currently open three days a week exclusively for the KEYSPOT computing center and job workshops.

See the June calendar here for more info.

Like the 80 other KEYSPOT centers around the city, the Dornsife computing center offers free computer classes and open lab time for residents to use its ten computers. In the last two weeks, 75 people have already visited, Walker said.

The effort was spearheaded by KEYSPOT partners Drexel University’s College of Engineering and Philadelphia FIGHT. There was one existing KEYSPOT computing center in Mantua, Walker said, bringing the community’s total to two centers.

In a unique move, the Drexel community partly crowdfunded the Dornsife computer lab’s part-time computer trainer position. Through a partnership with Goodwill Industries, Drexel placed donation bins around campus for one month and the collected revenue helped hire and pay for a computer trainer for Dornsife.

The majority (74, to be specific) of KEYSPOT computing centers launched between December 2011 and August 2012. When asked why the Dornsife computer lab only opened now, Walker said that “the opportunity presented itself” but declined to comment further. The ten computers now at the Dornsife center had previously been purchased as part of the KEYSPOT program, Walker said.

Companies: KEYSPOT / Drexel University / Philadelphia FIGHT

Before you go...

Please consider supporting Technical.ly to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, Technical.ly has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


Here’s how the global tech outage impacted many of the vital systems across the mid-Atlantic region

Why Benefits Data Trust fell apart despite millions from philanthropy and government contracts

From Big Tech to a big bank, this leader puts innovation at the forefront of her entire career

Ready to start marketing your startup? 3 crucial questions all founders should ask

Technically Media