WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller on Wednesday joined with Microsoft Vice President Fred Humphries, Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl, and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker to announce that Future Generations Graduate School (FGGS) in Pendleton County, which currently operates in 28 counties and 43 fire departments, will receive about $70,000 in software to establish community computer centers and training courses in volunteer fire stations throughout the state.
They also announced that about $150,000 in computer software will be available to West Virginia non-profit organizations. The software will enable these organizations to train workers with the skills needed to compete in today's computer-based economy, and also expand high-speed Internet in the state.
Future Generations Graduate School currently has computer centers in Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Jackson, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mineral, Mingo, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Putman, Raleigh, Randolph, Summers, Tucker, Wayne, Webster and Wyoming counties.
The school previously received a $4.4 million high-speed wireless Internet adoption grant from the Recovery Act to establish computer centers in volunteer fire stations across West Virginia. This funding will help the organization further that goal, as well as expand on Rockefeller's initiative to provide high-speed Internet access throughout the state. For more than 15 years, Rockefeller has worked to develop a nationwide strategy for universal access to high-speed Internet- both wired and wireless, particularly throughout West Virginia.
Specifically, the software will help Future Generations Graduate School equip many of the computer centers with state-of-the-art software. The centers will be used to train the community on the benefits of technology and broadband, with an eye toward expanding the adoption of high-speed Internet.
"Having updated computer software is absolutely essential in our economy, and I sincerely thank ARC and Microsoft for this generous donation," said Rockefeller. "I have long fought to make high-speed Internet access available to all businesses and families in West Virginia, and this announcement helps further that goal both at Future Generations to help our firefighters protect their communities, and at other organizations that may receive software. I strongly encourage non-profit organizations to apply for this valuable software."
"Throughout Appalachia we have an incredible group of individuals starting, leading, and growing nonprofits," said Gohl. "The Microsoft grant was more than a donation. It was an important investment in the Region of state of the art technology that will generate a return for the communities served and for the participating nonprofits."
Microsoft is providing the software and ARC is identifying additional individual recipients, working with them on preparing the paperwork and coordinating the donation with Microsoft. Although any non-profit organization is eligible, ARC will focus particularly on groups that provide technology training and workforce development activities. Schools and libraries are not eligible for this donation.
Interested applicants should contact Mark DeFalco with ARC at 202-884-7719 or firstname.lastname@example.org.