Tech:bar is the computer service shop of core:tech, the Apple Authorized Campus Store located inside LCCC’s bookstore, Commodore Books and More. The shop repairs Mac and PC computers and is an authorized service provider for Apple’s warranty program, AppleCare. Services are available for students and community members.
“The tech:bar is one more example of the value LCCC adds to the community,” bookstore manager Patricia Clark said.
The repair desk is staffed by LCCC students Matt Vinson and Craig Lopez, and Ben Brown, who is earning a bachelor’s degree in network engineering from The University of Akron through LCCC’s University Partnership.
For Brown, working at the tech:bar is icing on the cake after he discovered LCCC’s University Partnership. Brown earned an associate degree in network engineering from Sinclair Community College in Dayton and was planning to transfer to The University of Akron’s main branch when he found out about LCCC’s partnership program. He moved to Olmsted Falls and began coursework earlier this year.
“I am earning the same degree for a lot less money by going to through the UP and taking my non-major courses at LCCC,” Brown said. “Plus, I was able to get the tech:bar up and running so this has turned out to be a great choice for me.”
In addition to using their computer knowledge, Brown, Vinson and Lopez are also getting a lesson in business. The men were tasked with creating the tech:bar as part of the bookstore’s requirement as an Apple authorized campus store.
“Part of the agreement for the Apple store was that we would open a service center,” explained bookstore manager Patricia Clark. “These students took that challenge and ran with it by creating their own business plan and design for the center.”
Writing a business proposal was a new experience for Lopez, 28.
“It’s been fun to create a business from scratch. I’ve learned a lot and it will enhance my resume,” he said.
This isn’t Brown’s first business venture. The 21-year-old operated his own consulting firm in Dayton and contracted with small businesses to perform their IT work.
“I’ve been through some of these procedures before, so I was able to lend a hand. There are other aspects that are new to me, and it’s exciting to see it take shape,” Brown said.
One of the best aspects of working at the tech:bar is being able to help local people for a reasonable fee, Vinson said. Keeping in mind the tight budget of students, tech:bar offers services for a fraction of the cost charged by competitors.
“Students may not have anywhere else to go with their computer problems, so it’s great to be able to apply what I’ve learned in my classes to helping real people,” Vinson, 33, said.
The cost for services ranges from $29 for software installation to $129 for virus and spyware removal. As part of the grand opening celebration, the initial diagnostics fee of $49 will be waived for all customers through January 1.
To help customers get the most from their Apple purchases, the tech:bar offers free my:tech personal enrichment workshops. These fifteen minute sessions teach customers how to get the most from their technology purchase. my:tech sessions are offered daily at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The tech:bar is located inside LCCC’s Commodore Books and More in the College Center building on the LCCC campus. tech:bar is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (440) 366-7463. For more information about Commodore Books and More, visit www.lorainccc.edu/bookstore.