|Councilmember Bruce Harrell and Tech Matching Fund grantees outside city hall before the grants were approved by the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee.|
Mayor Mike McGinn and the City Council announced on July 23 that 23 community organizations will receive a total of $320,000 in Technology Matching Fund grants. The funds will increase computer and Internet training for our most vulnerable residents as well as help them with basic education, job training, and access to health and other essential services.
These grants are part of the City’s overall broadband effort to encourage digital inclusion for all (or broadband adoption), fiber to the home and business, a technology-skilled workforce, and local applications development. Participants will gain skills in using social media, assistive technologies, audio and video production, and digital storytelling, in addition to basic computer and Internet skills.
The grants support projects serving a wide range of neighborhoods in Seattle. Barton Place Apartments, located in Rainier Beach, is receiving a $14,658 grant to set up a mini computer lab in their SHA housing building. Resident Sydney Koerber said that having access to a computer “is a dream come true. I’m over 60 years old and I want to get my GED. It’s never too late to learn.”
Grants will also help support families. Tony Benton, working with Atlantic Street Center, is excited to receive $19,770 to help parents of young children, “a vital group that is digitally excluded,” he said. “If a parent doesn’t know how to use a computer and understand the value of it, the child starts out falling behind,” said Benton. “This grant will help not only reach parents of small children, but also grandparents and seniors who are going through the parenting process,” he said.
The Technology Matching Fund is managed by the Department of Information Technology’s Community Technology Program and was established in 1997 to support the community’s efforts to close the digital divide and encourage the use of information technologies for civic engagement. Since its beginning the fund has contributed more than $2 million to more than 200 projects. The fund furthers the City’s commitment to education, inclusion, and race and social justice. For more information, go here, or email email@example.com.
See a list of 2012 projects here.
See a map of 2012 TMF grantees here.
Read more about the grants and what Mayor McGinn and Councilmember Bruce Harrell had to say here.