For Immediate Release
September 14, 2010
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded the City of Boston $4.3 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant funding for three in-depth programs that will use high-speed internet broadband access to provide training in how using the internet can improve lives and enhance job prospects. A part of Mayor Menino’s “Boston Broadband” initiative, these programs will be offered in schools, public libraries, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, Housing Authority computer labs and the Timothy Smith Network Community Centers as well as in senior housing. The City and its grant partners will match the federal funding with an additional $1.4 million to support these programs.
“I am proud to say this grant is proof that Boston, by thinking outside of the box, truly leads the way in securing vital computer broadband access and training for those that are underserved and arguably need it the most,” said Mayor Menino. “This funding will provide a host of crucial programs not only in the area of job training, internet training for schoolchildren and families but also for seniors who can use this technology to stay in touch with loved ones and care providers.”
“This grant is a big deal for Boston,” said Senator John Kerry. “It will benefit workers hunting for jobs, students, and seniors who might not otherwise have broadband access. I was proud to fight for this funding knowing what a difference it can make.”
The three programs that will be funded by the grant include:
- Technology Goes Home (TGH): an 11 year old school-based, family broadband education program that has been recognized by the Federal Communication Commission’s National Broadband Plan Staff for excellence in adoption programming. TGH will expand its unique life-relevance curriculum by providing training and netbooks to 5,800 students and parents, doubling the current school-based TGH enrollment and extending into the newly NTIA-funded Public Computing Centers to train an additional 1,500.
- Connected Living (CL): an established senior housing based broadband life-relevance program. CL will work for the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) directly in three BHA senior communities to achieve high rates of broadband adoption and will be sustained by person-to-person instruction that is centered on senior’s interests. The program will strengthen each senior’s connections with family, friends and service providers and will enhance their independence, socialization and cognitive abilities and provide computers for seniors to use in their apartments.
- On Line Learning Readiness (OLLR): will enroll 800 out-of work adults in an in-depth digital workplace skills training program at Timothy Smith Network centers that already host technology programs in community agencies. Graduates will receive job acquisition assistance and a netbook computer to continue learning at home.
This announcement builds on the momentum created by a $1.9 million grant that the City of Boston received last month to supply over 600 computers and job training software to libraries, housing developments and community centers across the city.
Mayor Menino thanked Senator John Kerry, Congressman Michael Capuano, Congressman Stephen Lynch, and Congressman Edward Markey for their continued support and leadership in helping the City of Boston receive this important funding. The mayor also recognized United States Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and NTIA Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling for their stewardship of ARRA broadband investments to help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, create jobs, and improve education and healthcare across the country.
Mayor Menino’s “Boston Broadband” Initiative: The goal of Mayor Menino’s “Boston Broadband” initiative is to close the digital divide by providing high-speed internet access to all of Boston’s neighborhoods and communities.