On Wednesday, May 10, the city of Louisville and Mayor Fischer, in collaboration with several local and national partners, opened the PNC Gigabit Experience Center. The Center will offer free super-fast Wi-Fi at the Louisville Central Community Center in the Russell neighborhood, located directly adjacent to low-income housing in one of the lowest income neighborhoods in the city.
Louisville was a winner of the Next Century Cities Charles Benton Next Generation Engagement Award, which provided seed funding for the Center. Vision Russell, a neighborhood redevelopment project funded by a $29.5 million grant HUD Choice Neighborhoods grant, as well as support from PNC Bank will help grow and sustain the project.
Louisville’s CIO Grace Simrall, along with her staff, have coordinated the project that will include a neighborhood space for residents to obtain free access, the use of laptop computers, the opportunity to receive digital literacy training, as well as assistance in the development of tech and entrepreneurship skills.
In addition to launching the Center, the City of Louisville released their Digital Inclusion Plan. There is a deep commitment on the part of all partners to help solve the skills and opportunity divide through the provision of targeted support.
“The growth of Louisville’s digital economy must be inclusive of all residents no matter their ZIP code — for the budding entrepreneurs and innovators of today and for the families of tomorrow,” Mayor Fischer said. “The PNC Gigabit Experience Center allows residents of Russell and the entire city realize the potential that technology has for the future of our community and economy.”
For more information, please see Next Century Cities’ Charles Benton Next Generation Engagement Award Playbook at page 8.