communities with technology
Charlotte Crystal and Ida Lee Wootten
courtesy of the Office of the Vice President for Research
and Public Service
faculty and staff provide services that enhance the lives
of Virginia citizens from youth to adulthood.
ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 18 unveiled two sites -- one physical
and one electronic -- that demonstrate U.Va.'s increasing "connectedness"
throughout the region, the state and the world. U.Va. is one of
the founding partners of the Connected Community Technology Center,
a public/private initiative to create a state-of-the-art community
center that can help bridge the digital divide. The University
also launched a new Web site, Outreach
Virginia, so people connected to the Internet anywhere can
find out about U.Va.'s services and programs, especially for the
Community Technology Center includes offices, classrooms and meeting
rooms spread out in 11,500 square feet of a former industrial
warehouse located at 999 Grove Street near the 9th-10th Street
connector road in Charlottesville's Fifeville neighborhood.
initial tenants include Computers4 Kids, a non-profit organization
that provides refurbished computers to children who don't have
computers at home; Piedmont Virginia Community College, which
will operate two 25-station computer learning laboratories and
a Biotechnology Training Center (moved from its previous location
on West Main Street); the Charlottesville Area School Business
Alliance; the CATEC Vocational High School's Virtual Information
Academy; a prototype robotics manufacturing facility; and the
Virginia Piedmont Technology Council.
The Biotechnology Training Center is a collaborative effort of
PVCC, U.Va., the City of Charlottesville and the Weed and Seed
Connected Community initiative is a joint project of the Virginia
Piedmont Technology Council, the City of Charlottesville, the
County of Albemarle, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology
and the Orange County Schools. Numerous private companies have
also provided significant financial and in-kind support for the
center. The Entrepreneurial Village, a non-profit organization,
and Virginia Gateway, a U.Va. outreach program to encourage liaisons
between the University and the region's businesses, helped establish
the technology center in its new facility.
Connected Community Technology Center is the result of an innovative
public/private partnership, committed to bringing the world of
high technology to everyone," said David Kalergis, who chairs
the council. "Located in the Fifeville neighborhood, adjacent
to the University, the center is our model for the region, proving
that communities can work together so everyone can reap the benefits
of the new technological era." Kalergis has also been involved
in the project through his position as director of Virginia Gateway.
Kalergis introduced Sen. Emily Couric before she gave the keynote
address at the opening ceremony. Couric recently sponsored legislation
that allows state agencies to donate computers to tax-exempt charities
and public schools.
Wednesday's event Gene Block, U.Va.'s Vice
President for Research and Public Service, described Outreach
Virginia, a Web site dedicated to communicating information about
the hundreds of services and programs that the University provides.
The Web site offers readers a comprehensive list of such outreach
efforts as digital collections, medical care, demographic information,
training opportunities, degree programs, public policy analysis
"We wanted anyone, particularly those in our local community
and throughout the state, to see how the University of Virginia
could help make a difference in their lives," Block said.
descriptions of such programs in a comprehensive Web site was
one of the early recommendations of the Public Service Commission
that is part of the Virginia
2020 planning process.
virginia/, the Outreach Virginia site allows readers to search
for services according to the following selection criteria: interest
area, geographic region, program type, audience, or a combination
of such factors. People can also search the database by entering
currently about 300 entries, the site gives readers a good understanding
of the breadth of programs and services U.Va. offers. For example,
by clicking on "Commonwealth of Virginia," readers will
see nearly 100 entries offering brief descriptions of such services
as Bodytalk, Callaloo and the TEMPO Reading Outreach Program.
More entries are being posted weekly as people at U.Va. post their
outreach programs on the Web site.
programs were identified through an inventory conducted last year
by Laura Hawthorne, coordinator of public service. "The unveiling
of the Web site is the first concrete outcome of the Public Service
Commission's work," Hawthorne said.