CCN’s mission is to help increase the use of interactive technologies by nonprofit organizations (sometimes called “community technology” providers) to help Washington's under-served, under-represented and disconnected populations. These organizations can do everything from improve access to critical services to increase grades and graduation rates for youth. Members of the CCN Leadership Team come from Washington State University, University of Washington’s Information School, the City of Seattle, the Gates Foundation, and several nonprofits, including NPower of Seattle and Stone Soup of Republic.
The Communities Connect Network builds on, and is made possible by, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Community Access to Technology (CAT) Program. Since 1999 the CAT program has helped organizations and communities in Washington state utilize digital technologies to make changes in the lives of individuals and their communities. The goal of the CAT program is to see that low-income and other disadvantaged communities have opportunities to utilize technologies for the betterment of themselves and their communities.
The 60th Washington Legislature took a historic step in defining Community Technology as an important strategy for the state's future by allocating $500K to support Washington's Community Technology programs. Senate Bill 6438 creates a statewide broadband planning and deployment process and establishes the Community Technology Opportunity Program (CTOP), which will be administered by Washington State University Extension. Dozens of Community Technology organizations, all part of the Communities Connect Network (CCN), mounted a strong grassroots effort to paint a clear picture of how these funds would benefit kids and adults across Washington State.
Research conducted by the University of Washington’s Information School as part of the CCN effort clearly shows multiple benefits to individuals, families and communities as a result of the work these centers are doing, ranging from developing job skills to increasing academic performance to fostering a more involved and active community.
For more information visit http://www.communitiesconnect.org/