Washington, D.C., (Oct. 10, 1995) — The Tech Corps is a grassroots, volunteer organization designed to help schools prepare students and teachers for the 21st century by bringing the technical expertise of thousands of men and women into America’s schools.
President Bill Clinton, challenging Americans to help bring the power of computer technology into the classroom, said, “This goal cannot be achieved by government fiat. It can only be met… by communities, businesses, governments, teachers, parents and students joining together. A high-tech barn-raising.”
Tech Corps volunteers will work with grade K-12 teachers and school administrators in their local communities to provide assistance with technology planning, technical support and advice, staff training, mentoring and classroom instruction. The national organization will provide guidance and training for state chapters. State Tech Corps chapters will operate autonomously and will identify and match their volunteers to local projects according to interests, skills and school districts’ priorities.
Tech Corps volunteers will enhance teaching and learning nationwide through their technology projects. “In 1961, president Kennedy challenged men and women across America to join programs, such as the Peace Corps, to help build an infrastructure to tie developing countries to the global community,” said Gary J. Beach, chief executive officer of Computerworld Inc. and founder of the Tech Corps concept. “Today’s announcement challenges millions of Americans with technical skills to join the Tech Corps to build a technology infrastructure for our nation’s public schools. This will help link our classrooms to the rich educational content high technology has to offer.”
The Tech Corps builds upon a program started in Massachusetts and that has successfully completed pilot projects in twelve communities and will expand this fall to 47 school districts representing more than 60 communities. Five additional states are launching Tech Corps chapters today in New Mexico, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois and Tennessee.
“The Tech Corps’ Massachusetts program has been a huge success, and I am confident thousands of people across the country will respond to the President’s call to support Tech Corps in their communities,” said Beach. Those interested in initiating a state Tech Corps chapter are encouraged to attend the Tech Corps Chartering Conference in Washington, D.C. on October 30.
Industry and education leaders around the country are endorsing the Tech Corps as a significant volunteer initiative capable of having a major impact on U.S. schools. “It is a travesty that we are using pre-industrial age technology to educate the children of the information age,” said Thomas Wheeler, president of Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association [CTIA], one of the Tech Corps’ sponsors. “The CTIA Foundation for Wireless Telecommunications has provided the initial funding for Tech Corps to help remedy this situation through the combination of corporate technical skills and good old American volunteerism.”
The Tech Corps is incorporated as a private, non-profit organization and is overseen by a board of directors which includes professionals from the high tech, telecommunications and education sectors.
For more information on the Tech Corps or to register for the Tech Corps Chartering Conference, visit the organization’s Internet World Wide Web site at http://www.ustc.org. For more information on President Clinton’s education speech and today’s announcements, visit the White House Web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov.