The Eastern Independence Rotary Club has donated $8,000 to Community Services League to support a planned computer lab to be available to the clients at the new Community Empowerment Center, in northwest Independence and Sugar Creek.

The donation will fund six computers and workstations for the lab, including Microsoft Office Suite with PowerPoint, Excel, and Word software.

Meaghan Kelly, corporate grants and social media manager for CSL, says the new lab will address obstacles many clients encounter in finding jobs in an area with a 26 percent poverty rate and 12 percent unemployment rate. Clients enrolled in the Work Express and Financial Opportunity Center will be able to apply for jobs online, receive instruction and create resumes, and learn software programs that are necessities with many companies. Other uses may include helping clients build budgeting spreadsheets, request credit scores, use online banking systems and apply for income supports.

Kelley says more than 1,000 clients use the computer lab at the Noland Road office each year and she expects that most of the 2,500 clients of the Community Empowerment Center will require the use of the computers there, as well.

“Without members of the community and local organizations stepping up to help us achieve our goals, CSL could never hope to accomplish all that it does in Eastern Jackson County, ”Doug Cowan, President and CEO said in a press release.

The club’s April 28 meeting will be at the new facility and members and guests will help kick off the grand opening of the computer lab.

Proceeds from the club’s annual fundraiser, the Independence Uncorked Wine Festival, go to support local non-profit organizations.

“The event requires year-long planning,” said club President Michael Banks, “but it’s days like this when we see tangible evidence of what the funds can actually do for the community that make it all worthwhile.”

This year’s wine festival will be Sept. 10 at the Bingham Waggoner Estate.

For more information on the Eastern Independence Rotary Club or “Independence Uncorked” visit www.easternindependencerotary.net or www.independenceuncorked.com or find information on Facebook at Eastern Independence Rotary or “Independence Uncorked.”