Connecting Milwaukee Communities
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) with $7.2 billion to expand access to broadband services in the United States. Of those funds, the Act provided $4.7 billion to NTIA to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service, and develop and maintain a nationwide public map of broadband service capability and availability. The City of Milwaukee was awarded a Public Computer Center (PCC) grant to aid in the improvement of PCC’s throughout the Milwaukee community. As a result of this award the Connecting Milwaukee Communities Initiative was formed.
What is the Connecting Milwaukee Communities Initiative?
In recognition of the importance of computer access in public spaces, the City of Milwaukee has taken this opportunity to enhance broadband capacity and availability at libraries, public housing sites, and a senior center. The Connecting Milwaukee Communities (CMC) project intends to reach economically vulnerable populations, such as at-risk children, seniors, Spanish speakers, and low-income families by focusing its efforts on areas in the city with higher poverty and unemployment rates. Upgraded centers will provide opportunities for underserved residents to connect with the full benefits of broadband access, including computer training, online education, job skill development, personal money management skills, and access to online health information. Self-serve broadband kiosks will also be installed in various libraries and public housing sites to provide a one-stop website for users to obtain information about public computer center classes and locations, online courses, and other relevant community information.
Who are the Connecting Milwaukee Communities Sub-recipients?
The Sub-recipients who will be partnering on the Connecting Milwaukee Communities (CMC) project are: the City of Milwaukee (Department of Administration, Milwaukee Public Library and the Housing Authority), United Community Center, Inc. and the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB). Every partner brings a broad spectrum of experience, expertise and creativity to the CMC.