In this episode of Ten Talk, Senior Community Development Advisor Jeremy Hegle discusses efforts to provide access to affordable, reliable broadband service and the tools and training required to utilize its power. Senior Community Development Advisor Jeremy Hegle discusses efforts to provide access to affordable, reliable broadband service and the tools and training required to utilize its power.
As part of an ongoing digital inclusion initiative, Kansas City Fed employees dropped off 75 computers at External LinkConnecting for Good last week to be refurbished and then supplied to Tenth District nonprofits. Last year, the Bank provided 25 refurbished laptops to the organization, which helps low-income communities with digital literacy training and access to technology through its computer restoration program.
“Having affordable home internet, along with the skills and technology to utilize it, is fundamental to participating in today’s economy,” Jeremy Hegle, Senior Community Development Advisor, said. “We’re partnering with Connecting for Good to get 75 of the Bank’s surplus laptops into the hands of people who need them.”
Motivated by the Bank’s research on the digital divide, the Kansas City Fed’s Community Development and Information Technology and Customer Support teams collaborated to partner with Connecting for Good. After the organization refurbishes the Bank’s laptops, the computers will be provided to nonprofits supporting young people aging out of foster care, rural students who are learning to code and formerly incarcerated individuals enrolled in workforce development training.
“Our goal is to demonstrate to the broader community several low cost, high impact ways to improve economic conditions for lower income people,” Hegle said.
Jared Weikum, IT Client Services Manager at the Kansas City Fed, said the ITCS team became involved with the digital inclusion project last year after Hegle contacted them to learn more about how the Bank handles decommissioned computer equipment. Together, they found working with an organization like Connecting for Good was not only a way to help the community, but also a good way to support the Bank’s goal of Policy and Public Engagement.
“Being an internal support function, we (ITCS) haven’t always been able to serve directly in that capacity. This opportunity seemed like a way we could directly support that goal,” Weikum said.
“The site visit really showed us the opportunities where we can not only offer some of our former resources to a cause, but also offer our skills and talent in a personal capacity.”
Click here to learn more about the Bank’s research on digital inclusion.