News Column

Harper Government Delivers Computers and Digital Skills Training to Communities Nationwide

June 20, 2014

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - June 20, 2014) - Industry Canada

Hundreds of thousands of young people will be given access to digital learning opportunities that they otherwise would not have had, thanks to an investment by the Government of Canada.

The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, celebrated the recent announcement of the renewal of the Computers for Schools Program, an initiative that repairs, refurbishes and then donates computers to schools, public libraries and Aboriginal communities to give students access to the equipment and skills they need to succeed in the digital economy. Economic Action Plan 2014 committed $36 million over four years to the Computers for Schools Program.

Over the years, the Winnipeg region has regularly requested computers through the Computers for Schools Program. Today, Minister Glover reiterated the recent announcement by the Honourable Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance), that 53 schools in the Winnipeg area had received 925 computers and 43 printers. Holy Cross School, in particular, has participated in the Program since 2004. Announcements of other Manitoba recipients will be made in due course.

The Computers for Schools Program will connect Canadians and support economic opportunities, key elements under Digital Canada 150, the Government's plan for Canada's digital future. The program also promotes the reuse of surplus computers donated by federal, provincial and territorial governments and private businesses. Computers refurbished through the program are provided to schools, libraries, registered not-for-profit learning organizations and Aboriginal communities.

Quick facts

-- This Economic Action Plan 2014 investment will put approximately 280,000

computers in schools across Canada and create around 1,000 training opportunities for young people in all areas of digital technology. -- Since its creation, the Computers for Schools Program has refurbished and donated over 1.3 million computers to schools and not-for-profit learning organizations across Canada. -- In partnership with Canada's Youth Employment Strategy, Computers for Schools has given over 6,000 young Canadians valuable experience in working with digital technologies. -- The work performed by information technology interns and dedicated volunteers helps extend the life of the computers by three to four years, diverting waste from landfill sites across Canada. Quotes



"To succeed in today's economy, students need access to the Internet and the opportunities that our digital world can provide starting at a young age. This investment will give hundreds of thousands of young people access to the digital world. Our government's top priority is creating jobs and economic growth. This program is essential to prepare young Canadians for the opportunities of our digital economy."

- Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

"We're going wireless next year, and it was a real blessing for these computers to come our way. This technology will have a real impact on our educational programming here at Holy Cross."

- Alexander Cap, Principal, Holy Cross School

Related product

- Backgrounder: Computers for Schools

Associated links

- Industry Canada's Computers for Schools Program

- Industry Canada's Technical Work Experience Program

- Youth Employment Strategy

- Digital Canada 150

Follow us on Twitter: @industrycanada

BACKGROUNDER

Computers for Schools

Computers for Schools (CFS) is an Industry Canada-led program that collects and refurbishes donated surplus computers for distribution to Canada's schools, libraries, not-for-profit learning organizations and Aboriginal communities. CFS helps Canadian students gain greater access to computer technology so they can develop the skills needed to thrive in a digital economy.

Since 1993, CFS has delivered more than 1.3 million refurbished computers and employed more than 6,000 youth interns across Canada. CFS operates refurbishing centres throughout Canada where surplus computers are refurbished and prepared for distribution. Workshops are staffed by youth hired under the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy, volunteers (including current and retired telecommunications professionals), community members and students.

Each year, CFS workshops provide hundreds of young Canadians with paid, hands-on skills development opportunities through the Technical Work Experience Program. Youth interns have the opportunity to gain valuable experience toward future careers in the field of information and communications technology (ICT).

CFS also promotes environmental benefits by ensuring that computer systems are refurbished and recycled, keeping them out of landfills. Non-working systems are disassembled, with functional parts used to repair other systems.

Partnerships

Industry Canada administers CFS in partnership with the TelecomPioneers of Canada, a national volunteer association of current and retired telecommunications professionals, along with the provinces, territories and private and volunteer sectors.

Many organizations and private sector collaborators have contributed to the program's success. Partners include Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canadian National Railway Company, Manitoba Telecom Services, SaskTel and Telus.

Computer donations

CFS ensures that every computer provided to beneficiaries is user ready and complete with a monitor, mouse, keyboard and operating system software. To minimize the time needed for refurbishment and to get the computers to the schools, libraries, not-for-profit learning organizations and Aboriginal communities as quickly as possible, CFS only accepts donated equipment in good working order.

CFS accepts IBM-compatible computers at the Pentium IV level or better and Macintosh computers at the PowerMac G4 level or better. Schools and other learning organizations are asking for such equipment because this is the minimum level of technology required to handle the education software used in the classroom or to connect effectively to the Internet.

Accessories-such as working LCD monitors, printers, modems, scanners, digital cameras and CD-ROM drives-may also be available upon request.

Youth and skills training

Each year, with support from the Canadian government's Youth Employment Strategy, CFS workshops provide hundreds of young Canadians with hands-on training and opportunities in ICT.

The Technical Work Experience Program provides students and recent graduates from technology programs with their first job experience. This program hires students and recent graduates from information technology programs at colleges or universities and provides them with paid internship (up to a maximum of 52 weeks) in CFS repair centres across Canada.

Under the supervision of CFS repair centre managers, young technicians repair and refurbish computer equipment, sort and test computer software, and prepare and package computers for shipment.

They also provide technical support to local schools and school boards. In addition to gaining practical, marketable work experience, each young technician is encouraged to search for full-time work throughout his/her employment with the program.

Volunteers

Volunteers are an essential part of the CFS success story: the Pioneers are a co-founder of the program, and volunteers from telecom companies-including Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, Manitoba Telecom Services, SaskTel and Telus-continue to ensure the program's success across the country.

The motto of the Pioneers is "Answering the call of those in need." Their members provide a broad base of community service programs that inspire over 20 million hours of volunteer time each year.

Volunteers from the Pioneers, as well as a range of volunteers from other organizations and local communities, help to staff workshops, undertake refurbishment activities and arrange deliveries of computers to schools, libraries, not-for-profit learning organizations and Aboriginal communities across the country.

Privacy

CFS's security policies and standards are based on the Treasury Board of Canada's Operational Security Standard: Management of Information Technology Security (MITS). Each computer donated to CFS is completely refurbished, and the hard drive is wiped clean in accordance with the approved policies and guidelines of the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) for Protected A and B documentation. CFS, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and CSEC worked collaboratively on the development of the disk wiping software used by CFS.

For more information on the CFS program, please visit the CFS home page.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Jake Enwright Press Secretary Office of the Minister of Industry 613-995-9001 Media Relations Industry Canada 613-943-2502 media-relations@ic.gc.ca Source: Industry Canada


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Source: Marketwire (Canada)


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