Trinfo.Café brings Internet technology, training, support, and equipment to Hartford residents as part of the Smart Neighborhoods initiative intended to bridge the digital divide. While Trinity delivers educational services with state-of-the-art technology, only 6% of the College’s immediate neighbors have access to the Internet. Trinfo.Café evolved out of the desire to rectify this inequality by serving local residents, civic organizations, and small businesses. Before Trinfo.Café, the Trinity Information Exchange (TIE) was created in 1996 to connect arts and educational organizations. TIE provided WWW and email support as well as Internet proficiency training for local non-profits. Trinity students helped these organizations develop computer skills and websites. TIE also participated in the Hartford Housing Authority’s “Campus of Learners” initiative, which provided IT support to Hartford residents in subsidized housing. Smart Neighborhoods and Trinfo.Café replaced TIE in 1999; a broader IT operation that keeps Trinity actively involved with the community’s IT needs.
Trinfo has been featured in the New York Times, the Hartford Courant, the Hartford Business Journal, El Extra News, and WFSB, Channel 3 in Connecticut and received the SBC National Telecommunications National Partnership Award.(Click here to view articles) This award recognized its outstanding work in integrating telecommunications technology by targeting an under-served population. This local, statewide, and national attention reflects broad recognition for Trinfo.Cafe’s engagement with the community around Trinity College. Today, Trinfo.Café enables clients to comprehend and value computer technology by tailoring computer classes to their professional needs and by demonstrating how computers, the Internet, and Microsoft Office programs can be utilized to achieve personal organizational tasks. Trinfo.Café aims to encourage organizations to take advantage of available, external grant funding that will allow them to independently address technical support issues and procure independence. This is an important goal for the sustainability of computer technology within these organizations.