Los Angeles City Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Eric Garcetti donated computers to families living at Jordan Downs in Watts today. The families who received computers participated in technology training classes through Kids Progress Inc., a non-profit organization established by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) to provide crucial social, educational, and health care services to children living in HACLA projects. The computer donation was made possible through a City Council motion authored by Buscaino and seconded by Garcetti.
“Personal computers and the internet have revolutionized the way we communicate and access information. By donating these computers to Kids Progress and the residents of Jordan Downs, we move one step closer to eliminating the digital divide and ensuring all residents of Los Angeles, regardless of where they live or how much money they make, have access to the most powerful and transformative technological innovation of the past century,” said Buscaino.
“Los Angeles can’t compete in the 21st Century economy unless Angelenos have the training and tools needed to access the Information Superhighway. Not only do more and more jobs require computer skills, but so much information about the community, social events, friends, and family is now communicated online. It’s great that residents at Jordan Downs are learning to use computers and I’m proud to partner with Councilmember Joe Buscaino to provide free computers to families who complete the training,” said Garcetti.
Buscaino and Garcetti met with Jordan Downs families in the complex’s computer center. They also visited the home of a family who received a new computer.
“We appreciate Councilman Garcetti and Buscaino’s efforts to support HACLA’s desire to bridge the digital divide,” said HACLA President and CEO Doug Guthrie. “While the benefits of broadband adoption and at-home computers are widely known, we are still faced with the fact that low-income neighborhoods continue to lag behind. The Housing Authority is proud of the Computers for Families program at Jordan Downs as it aims to tackle this important issue. We will continue to work to call attention to this cause.”
In conjunction with the redevelopment effort at Jordan Downs, HACLA and Kids Progress Inc. have initiated a comprehensive Human Capital Plan to improve the overall quality of life and assist families in achieving self-sufficiency. HACLA partners with several community-based organizations to achieve this goal through an array of programs and resources for residents.
Los Angeles Opportunities Industrialization Center and their Computers for Families Initiative is one of several partners working on the Human Capital Plan at Jordan Downs. Since 2010, more than 200 computers have been distributed to families at Jordan Downs. Families who receive computers were required to complete Computer Training “Boot Camp.” The training includes Microsoft Word for resume development and the basics of Internet Explorer and e-mail for job searches, academic enrichment, homework assistance, and correspondence. In addition, Jordan Downs residents have access to free Wi-Fi, which was installed in 2009 through a joint partnership with AT&T and One Economy.