SEATTLE – WSU Extension outlined details of a $350,000 grant program and invited grant proposals for community technology projects at the statewide community technology meeting.
 
The meeting was hosted by the Communities Connect Network. “This is the only dedicated technology grant program in the state right now,” said Matthew Mitchell, of Extension’s Center to Bridge the Digital Divide, who discussed details of the program.
 
Extension is administering a grant and capacity building programs which are part of the Community Technology Opportunity Program (CTOP) authorized this past March by the Washington State Legislature.
 
CTOP was created to support and advance community technology programs that provide digital inclusion activities for Washington’s under-served and low-income residents.
 
Community technology programs include computer training provided to disabled people to give them skills, allowing the, to work in office settings.
 
Such training could also help survivors of domestic violence protect themselves from exposure to perpetrators when they are using their computers.
 
“Eight to 10 proposals will be funded for projects that enhance education, improve financial literacy, foster social inclusion, provide access to information, provide employment skills or encourage micro-enterprise development,” Mitchell said.
 
Mitchell will administer the grant program. He said awarded grants will be reimbursed for 75 percent of approved eligible expenses for specific community technology projects between Aug. 1, 2008 and June 15, 2009.
 
Proposals are due by e-mail on July 14, and awards will be announced Aug. 1. Interested organizations can learn more about the grant program at conference calls scheduled on June 13 and June 17.
 
More information on the calls as well as the grant is available at http://www.cbdd.wsu.edu/ctop/