City of Milwaukee

Connecting Milwaukee Communities

In recognition of the importance of computer access in public spaces, the City of Milwaukee proposes to enhance broadband capacity and availability at libraries, public housing sites, and a senior center. The Connecting Milwaukee Communities project intends to reach economically vulnerable populations, such as at-risk children, seniors, Spanish speakers, and low-income families by focusing its efforts on areas in the city with higher poverty and unemployment rates. Upgraded centers will provide opportunities for underserved residents to connect with the full benefits of broadband access, including computer training, online education, job skill development, personal money management skills, and access to online health information. The project also plans to deploy self-serve broadband kiosks in targeted housing projects and provide a one-stop website for users to obtain information about public computer center classes and locations, online courses, and other relevant community information.

Total Award: 
BTOP In Action
Two students use loaner laptops at one of the project’s upgraded centers

The City of Milwaukee’s Connecting Milwaukee Communities project opened a new public computer center and upgraded eight centers across the city. These centers are part of an effort to increase broadband capacity and availability at sites that have historically been unable to adequately serve local residents. These upgraded centers now offer new computers, training, and technology specialists to help patrons develop their digital literacy skills.

As of June 2013, the city deployed more than 330 laptops, serving an average of 9,300 users per week. Along with these computers, the centers provide a variety of classes covering topics such as computer basics, Internet fundamentals, word processing and spreadsheet skills, Internet search techniques, and online safety. The centers also offer career building assistance with resume creation, job searches, and interview preparation.

Reports and Documents
Award Documents