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Review - LA Technology-In-Business Seminar

Greetings Family,
(Contact Information At The Bottom Of The Page)

It's your friendly neighborhood "Digital Drummer" again...smile

For those that missed the Technology-In-Business Seminar, yesterday….I’m sorry for ya…smile

Beyond the fact that they had a real time demonstration of what could be done with Broadband technology…beyond the dynamic speakers..beyond the contacts (not to mention $100 they gave away)…It was truly an empowering and uplifting time for all.

I’m posting this review up today, because even if you’re not in California, the programs and initiatives they were talking about, more in likely exist in your community or state. With the new Obama administration putting Billions into upgrading and modernizing IT infrastructure....we've got to spread the knowledge. Like one of the participants said, we can't take advantage of what, we don't know about.

For example, Mr. Agustina Urginna, of the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) talked about how CETF is investing millions into the Los Angeles community....Today, Right Now, As We Speak!!!

CETF provides leadership and grant funds statewide to minimize the Digital Divide by accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband and other advanced communication services to unserved and underserved communities. (see www.cetfund.org)

CETF's is on a mission to ensure that California is a global leader in the availability and use of Broadband technology by levering $60 million in seed funding, to achieve an impact of about $250 million. What do they mean by leveraging? By partnering with municipalities, non-profits, and community groups (think BDPA, Black Engineers, Kappa's, CDC's, etc.), CEFT hopes to gain a four-fold return on their grant funding.

CEFT programs, like the Southeast Cities Technology Collaborative, will help approximately 3,200 LA residents close the Digital Divide with Broadband Internet access and education. CETF and the City of Vernon have presented grant awards of $476,000 and $301,000 respectively to the three-year initiative, providing refurbished computers, and training in support of community and educational groups.

Another enlightening speaker was Mrs. Selma Taylor, Executive Director of California Resources & Training (CARAT). She discussed how the CETF Small Business Initiative Project was developing solid economic data to identify and assist low and moderate income small business owners in utilizing and benefiting from Broadband technology. CETF and CARAT is currently doing a statewide small business broadband survey to quantify and highlight the unmet needs of the small business community. They raffled off $100 to those that completed a CETF survey.

California Assembly Member Curren Price Jr., Chairman of the California State Assembly, Select Committee on Procurement, talked about his efforts to ensure small businesses and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) are able to apply for, and gain government contracts. Especially in light of the unprecedented $43 Billion authorized by the four infrastructure bonds and Proposition 84.

Michael Falkow, CIO and Acting Assistant City Administrator for the City of Inglewood, reiterated and validated, Assemblymen Price's talk on creating a transparent and accessible procurement process that would expand opportunities for small and minority owned business in the City of Inglewood.

Revlyn Williams, Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Technology Committee for a Better 51st Assembly District, handed out a leaflet listing the contact info for Procurement offices of the different cities, university and school districts in the 51st Assembly District…invaluable info for small business that want to get on vendor lists.

Bryan Franklin, founder and CEO of 1iMall.com was in the audience....networking and informing people about Project First Job (www.projectfirstjob.com), paying students to STAY in school. He and Eric Sloan of Computer Works of California (www.computerworksca.com) talked about how they could integrate 1iMall into Manchester One's community WiFi network.

All in all it was a great afternoon of community interaction and networking. If you weren’t there...you missed out.

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