Smart Chicago has a grant agreement with the City of Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology to complete the work under award No. 17-42-B10553 of the Public Computer Centers portion of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has also awarded a grant to support this project.
The SmartChicago PCC project page on the NTIA Web site has a wealth of information, including the project application, the award agreement, and quarterly reports filed by the City. Here’s the project summary:
According to a 2009 study commissioned by the City of Chicago, as many as 40 percent of city residents lack home broadband access, making libraries and other public computer centers essential resources for employment, training, and educational opportunities. Over 60 percent of Chicago libraries now report average wait times for a computer of three hours or longer. The SmartChicago Public Computer Centers project proposes a wide-scale upgrade and expansion of workstation capacity at more than 150 locations, including city libraries, community colleges, public housing sites, workforce centers, senior centers, after-school programs, and other community locations throughout Chicago. The project will provide hundreds of thousands of hours of training, including digital literacy instruction and assistance for job seekers. The project plans a specific focus on low-income residents, at-risk youth, senior citizens, people with disabilities, and the unemployed.
Smart Chicago has a number of sub-recipients performing the work under this award, all of whom are supplying matching funds:
- Chicago Housing Authority, which is building new computer centers and adding capacity at others
- City Colleges of Chicago, which is building new computer centers and adding capacity at others
- Lumity, which is leading the CTC Connect, which provides support Community Technology Centers across the city
- Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce (sub-recipient) and TEC Services (lower-tier sub-recipeint), for the Digital Skills Initiative, which creates a central hub for coordinating technology training throughout the city
- MK Communications for the PCC marketing & communications project
- Smart Chicago, in support of the Smart Health Centers project