Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Friday that 3,000 computers the city no longer needs will be refurbished and donated to computer labs serving low-income communities or families who do not have access to high-speed Internet service.
The nonprofit group human-I-T will update the computers and install Microsoft Windows 7, MS Office and a web browser. A lottery will be used to determine which groups will receive the computers.
Under the program, which city leaders are calling OurCycle LA, another 7,000 old city computers that cannot be refurbished will be recycled by Isidore Electronics Recycling, which also gives job training and employs formerly incarcerated people in Los Angeles.
The LA Cleantech Incubator is managing the refurbishment and recycling efforts.
“With OurCycle LA, we’re not only helping bridge the digital divide, we’re simultaneously supporting our economy by providing job training, creating employment opportunities, and boosting L.A.’s growing e-waste management sector,” Garcetti said.
Recipients of the computers will be required to take a digital literacy training course hosted by Best Buy’s Geek Squad, the Youth Policy Institute and Citi. They also must sign up for high-speed Internet service.
This can be done through OurCycle LA, which worked with the nonprofit groups Everyone On and the Southeast Community Development Corporation to offer service that costs $10 per month and charges a one-time $65 equipment fee.
OurCycle LA received a $150,000 donation from the California Emerging Technology Fund to refurbish 2,500 computers and help 1,500 households sign-up for Internet service. REDF gave $50,000 to pay for job training for 10 Los Angeles residents facing obstacles to employment. Citi donated $50,000 for financial literacy training for 2,500 people.
— City News Service