Federal stimulus funding brings new life to 11 public computing centers in Minnesota

University of Minnesota Broadband Access ProjectIn December 2009, it was announced that The University of Minnesota’s Urban Research and Outreach Engagement Center (UROC) would be the recipient of $2,862,333 in federal funds while simultaneously contributing $741,000 of its own capital towards developing and improving 11 key computer labs (aka public computing centers or PCC’s) throughout under served neighborhoods in the Twin Cities as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The grant was part of a nationwide $10.5b earmarked for communications, information, and security technologies.  At the time, it was Minnesota’s first award, the only one given to a university and the largest grant of its type – designed to address the digital divide in key geographic/socioeconomic areas through access and education.