(TNS) — Some Long Beach residents are struggling to thrive in the digital age without proper technology training, a problem city officials are seeking to address with the new Smart City initiative, officials announced this week.
The city’s program, in partnership with the Long Beach Collaboratory, will engage residents of four specific neighborhoods to better understand their technology needs and inform how Long Beach is investing its money in the future.
“The LB Co-Lab will engage local Long Beach stakeholders in a collaborative community engagement process to define and implement a pilot technology project,” said a city announcement. “The technology implemented through this program will ensure that the city invests in technology improvements based on community-identified needs, while teaching community members about technology design and development.”
The program, announced Monday, Nov. 7, will help Long Beach build accessible technology infrastructure in its Hamilton, Ramona Park, Willmore and Lower West Side neighborhoods, which were selected based on internet access, unemployment , age and COVID-19. impact data. Individuals must live, work, study, or be affiliated with one of these neighborhoods to participate in the program.
Those accepted into the Smart City initiative will join a community working group to provide feedback on digital inclusion issues and how Long Beach can help address them. They will also review submissions of potential “smart” city projects to address the agreed challenge, such as the installation of digital kiosks, public Wi-Fi stations or charging stations.
Program participants will deploy and test the proposed solution to problems identified within the working groups in these four neighborhoods, according to the announcement. They will also receive training in technology development, obtain a professional certificate and a $1,000 stipend.
“The LB Co-Lab is an innovative program that will work with residents to foster technology skills,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in the announcement, “and will help us invest in the technology and services that will be most helpful. to our community.”
In addition to helping determine the city’s future projects based on community needs, according to the announcement, the Smart City initiative will also help launch additional economic investment funds for new technology developments.
The Smart City initiative is funded by the Long Beach Recovery Act and grant funds.
More information and applications are available on the Co-Lab website.
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