November 28, 2007 By News Report
Mayor John F. Street and Wireless Philadelphia accepted a donation of 400 refurbished laptop computers from Shire Pharmaceuticals today.
"To be a great city, we must do something about the digital divide," Street said at a ceremony in City Hall. "We will be the premier city in the country for municipal wireless."
The laptops, valued at approximately $100,000, will be distributed by Wireless Philadelphia to community-based organizations, including People for People, the Mayor's Office for the Re-Entry of Ex-Offenders, The School District of Philadelphia's Office of Specialized Services, and the Community Women's Education Project.
The computers will be included in Wireless Philadelphia's T.E.A.C.H. (Training, Education, Access, Content and Hardware) bundle, the cornerstone of the organization's Digital Inclusion program. Distributed by Wireless Philadelphia through their partner organizations, these computers will packaged with Internet access, computer training and technical support and placed into the hands of low-income Philadelphians. These tools will help empower these individuals to better their lives by offering, for example, job search assistance and educational opportunities among other options.
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.