The state and local team of federal technology consultancy 18F launched a new website, aimed at “state or local government with federal funds that would benefit from technical and procurement support,” announced on Twitter.
This marks the first time that the state and local support side of 18F has already had a web presence, coinciding with a period of approximately 16 months brought on by a pandemic in which membership, as well as the understanding and importance of the work state and local technology have skyrocketed. During the pandemic, traditionally slow technological efforts by government at all levels were forced to accelerate, both to install public home workers and to meet voters’ needs for online services. It is perhaps safe to say that the technological work of the public sector at national and local levels has never seen such a concentrated acceleration.
âWe believe national and local technology can be reliable, accessible, integrated, user-friendly and efficient,â 18F writes on its new state-focused and local-focused website.
To this end, the group also notes that it is currently working directly with a number of government agencies at state and local levels. This list includes the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, the Vermont State Human Services Agency, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and Digital Protective Services. childhood of California.
The reasons for partnering with federal authorities listed by 18F are also on the site, and this list includes increasing the overall success rate of IT projects, creating value for end users, modernizing the approach and l ” obtaining expert technical advice. There are several terms available to work with 18F, ranging from short term engagements aimed at less than 80 hours of technical support, to 3 month engagements involving two to three digital experts supporting the work, up to one year of digital consulting. thorough.
Interested parties involved in this work at national and local levels are encouraged to contact 18F through the new website. (Zack)
CHICAGO EXPANDS EDUCATION-FOCUSED DIGITAL EQUITY INITIATIVE
Chicago has announced an expansion of its Chicago Connected initiative, an education-focused digital equity program that has served approximately 64,000 students since its launch in June 2020.
Specifically, this includes an extension of the Internet service for Chicago Public School Graduates (CPS), the launch of a digital literacy training platform, and a one-year impact review published by Kids First Chicago. .
For CPS graduates, internet service will continue until October 31. For those attending Chicago City Colleges, free internet service will be provided for three years or until graduation, whichever comes first.
The learning platform was launched in partnership with the Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition and Northstar Digital Literacy, providing free access to classroom programs, training materials and assessments to improve computer skills.
The impact report released by Kids First Chicago surveyed more than 30,000 participating households, finding that those enrolled in the program have a higher attendance rate than the school district average, among others.
Chicago also announced the reopening of applications for community organizations in the Chicago Connected coalition.
More information about the initiative can be found online. (Julia Edinger)
LA LOUISIANA TO INVEST $ 180 MILLION IN THE LARGE EXPANSION
Louisiana plans to spend $ 180 million over the next three years on grants for companies that build broadband Internet infrastructure, according to the Associated Press.
The goal of this investment is to minimize the digital divide for underserved communities. The state’s Office of Broadband Development and Connectivity will lead the grant program. Telecommunications companies will have to cover at least 20 percent of the costs and will have to provide affordable high-speed Internet for the next five years.
Bringing high-speed internet to everyone in the state would require an investment of more than $ 1 billion, officials said, but the $ 180 million investment is expected to connect 145,000 homes.
The legislation, House Bill 648, was sponsored by Representative Daryl Deshotel, who runs a technology company and has experience building wireless networks for school districts.
This effort is paired with $ 372 million in funding from the federal government to help providers expand coverage over the next 10 years. (Julia Edinger)
BOSTON LAUNCHES NEIGHBORHOOD DATABASE RESEARCH PLATFORM
Boston has launched a new search platform that empowers residents to find the information they need to drive civic engagement.
The platform is on the Boston website, and it’s relatively straightforward. Users put their address in Boston and the site returns a list of local representatives as well as public resources.
It’s the type of project that centralizes readily available information in one place with an easy-to-access format, a proven classic in civic technology. (Zack)