PCs for People picks up computers at the City of Minneapolis in August 2018.

Aug. 14, 2018 (MINNEAPOLIS) the City of Minneapolis donated 200 used computers today to two nonprofits that will use them for Minneapolis computer training programs and to sell at a low cost to Minneapolis residents who meet income guidelines. This helps Minneapolis toward goals in Minneapolis 2040, the City’s draft comprehensive plan, to ensure that residents have access to technology.

PCs for People and Minnesota Computers for Schools will refurbish the donated computers and set them up with office programs, internet capability and anti-malware.

The City could provide up to 600 used computers per year after retiring them from four-six years of City employee use.

Digital equity

The 2016 resident survey showed that disparities in access to the internet ran along racial, geographic and income lines.

Results from the 2014 Minneapolis Community Technology Survey showed that:

  • 15 percent of households in Minneapolis did not have computers with internet access at home.
  • Ninety percent of whites had computers with internet at home compared to 66 percent of African-Americans and 81 percent of “other.”

While smartphone use is going up, some tasks – such as doing homework and applying for jobs – are more suited to computers.

Skills training

The computer training provided by the nonprofits is expected to help people qualify for jobs and to ease some of the region’s needs for more technology workers.

Students working in the City’s Information Technology Department through the City’s STEP-UP program and Genesys Works helped with the donation process this summer, gaining valuable skills in the IT field as part of their City internships.