Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr. surprised hundreds of local students with a newly refurbished computers and four-years of free WiFi. The complimentary computers were courtesy of a new program administered by the City of Los Angeles and founded by Wesson called OurCycle LA.
The OurCycle LA program refurbishes city-owned computers and distributes them to low-income families citywide. The program maximizes the use of existing computers, provides job training and employment for individuals with high barriers to employment, minimizes the city’s electronic waste footprint, and helps bridge the digital divide.
“We’ve found an innovative way to keep our city at the forefront of the green economy and provide underserved students with access to the tools that will improve their lives for years to come,” Wesson said. “Now more than ever it’s important that we make sure our young people are receiving the proper training in order to succeed in today’s technologically advanced world.”
Since its inception, OurCycle LA has distributed nearly $70,000 in technology and diverted almost $100,000 in E-waste, while also training Angelenos in computer technology and improving their digital literacy.
The program is a public-private partnership between the city, non-profit organizations and social enterprises. human-I-T, a local non-profit organization, refurbishes the city’s surplus computers promoting reuse and creating opportunities for program recipients. Other partners include the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, the city’s Information Technology Agency, Department of General Services, and Bureau of Sanitation.