July 12, 2013 By Jessica Hughes
For young people, summer can mean the perfect opportunity to make some extra money. It's also good for your run-of-the-mill internship. But at the Office of Information Technology (OIT) in Prince George's County, Md., you won't find interns running errands, filling cups or filing paperwork.
"What we wanted to do in OIT this year was something a little different, something a little more meaningful," said Sandra Longs, project manager for summer youth for the OIT.
Indeed, the department's 10 high school interns are busy finding solutions to big ideas, and learning under OIT's wing, as well as from private industry, public education, university students and the federal government. All of this experiential and project-based learning is centered around five pillars -- science, technology, engineering, arts and math, or "STEAM."
While the OIT has previously participated with other agencies in the county executive’s office summer youth program, this batch of students -- coined the STEAM Dream Team -- is a part of something newer and bigger.
The STEAM Dream Team is the first of many programs within OIT's bigger STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) project -- programs that are in the works and imagined as an IT career pipeline for students from kindergarten to college age, said Vennard Wright, CIO for Prince George's County, pictured.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.