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South Salt Lake Journal

The Co-Op at SSL offers residents free learning opportunities

May 06, 2024 03:26PM ● By Bailey Chism

The Co-Op at SSL offers adults access to free internet and resources to continue their learning or business ventures. (Bailey Chism/City Journals)

South Salt Lake is a small city that offers its residents big opportunities. 

The Co-Op at South Salt Lake offers adults a place to go to make connections and get the support they need. The Promise South Salt Lake initiative is now a decade old and they help deliver three promises to the community: everyone has the opportunity to attend and graduate college; everyone has a safe, clean neighborhood; and everyone has the opportunity to be healthy and prosper. 

“With free membership including access to Wi-Fi, reservable rooms, meeting spaces, and a wide range of equipment available for borrowing, we provide everything you need to succeed,” said Abram Sherrod, community opportunity center supervisor. 

The Co-Op focuses on adults transitioning into new learning, jobs, careers or business ventures. It allows them a place to connect with others, work, learn and grow. It opened in 2022 to offer a variety of events and programming, equipment rentals and other resources to help its members become financially powered and advance their careers and businesses. 

When the pandemic hit in 2020, South Salt Lake officials saw the shift in how people learned and worked. Libraries and public facilities shut down, and people had
nowhere to go. 

“When the schools shut down due to Covid-19 we realized that a lot of SSL residents did not have access to resources such as reliable internet,” Sherrod said. 

Officials recognized this within the city, so they partnered with Comcast to provide free and reliable internet. They also started a process with community leaders and city staff to re-imagine what a city center could be like. 

Officials asked residents what they wanted to see when construction began on the new Granite Library. An overwhelming amount of people asked for the functions of a library—computers, gathering spaces and classes—but with a focus on helping people get back on their feet and into new, better jobs and careers. 

South Salt Lake also recognized the need for technology and learning opportunities in teenagers and children, so they created another program for them. 

“Although the computer lab is for adults, Promise South Salt Lake has our Best Buy Teen Tech Program within the South Salt Lake Community Center that offers youth access to technology including computers, music equipment, digital photography and more,” Sherrod said. λ