By Staff Reports
(Adelanto) —Citing the fact that Adelanto is an underserved area and in need of improved internet speeds and affordability to close the Digital Divide, the Great Harvest Community Center (GHCC) from San Bernardino has partnered with the City of Adelanto to raise community awareness about low-cost computers and affordable high-speed broadband internet service for eligible residents.
“We have organized the Adelanto Community Technology Fair with support from the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), the Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP), and the Inland Empire Regional Broadband Consortium (IERBC),” said Mayor Richard Kerr. “The free, one-day event will take place at Adelanto City Hall Courtyard on Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and is open to all High Desert residents,” Kerr added. Complimentary snacks and water (as supplies last of course) will be provided as well as a Kona-Ice snow cones that can be purchased.
According to GHCC CEO Greg Walker, the enthusiasm of Adelanto Mayor Kerr and City leaders was an important criteria in reaching out to Adelanto for the event. The Community Technology Fair will have a variety of participants including San Bernardino County, Cash for College Program, Computers2Home Program, Affordable Broadband, Apple K12 Education, Mac to School, and more. The event will also have Computer Demos, 3D Printer, Tech Job Information, Music, Food, and a Raffle for several tech items, including a lap top.
Attendees will receive information about benefits and the critical importance of being online at home, as well as having the opportunity to fill out an initial application to check eligibility for Affordable Broadband Internet service for their home. Attendees will be asked to fill out a one-page survey about their internet use at home, the level of service, and costs. “The surveys are very important as we are collecting data to back up the need for improved internet service in the region,” said GHCC Program Director Mickey Yates.
Information and post cards will be available to send to the State Assembly about AB1665, the Internet for All Now Act (Eduardo Garcia-Coachella). AB1665 extends the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) managed by the California Public Utilities Commission to provide matching funds for broadband infrastructure in unserved, underserved areas, including rural areas such as in the High Desert and Mojave region, as well as funding for adoption digital literacy programs which help close the Digital Divide. The bill will be heard on the Assembly floor in early June.
“There will also be information for jobs in the technology industry,” said Kerr. San Bernardino County will have information on Tech/IT entry-level and advanced Jobs available now at the County, with information and demonstrations on how to apply online.
GHCC, which covers the entire San Bernardino County including the High Desert, is a 501c3 Community-Based Organization specializing in Computer Literacy and Education Programs and Outreach, as well as Youth Self-esteem Workshops and has been in operation for 3 years.