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Illinois Launches IT Recycling Program to Bridge Digital Divide


The State of Illinois is taking another step it hopes will help reduce the digital divide, which has worsened during the pandemic.

Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker announced the formation of the Connect Illinois Computer Equity Network.
"This new collaboration between our Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the nonprofit PC's For People will provide refurbished and modernized computers to those in need."

PC's For People CEO Casey Sorensen says his company's IT recycling program partners with over 15-hundred banks, hospitals, high-tech firms and local governments to collect their retired tech.

"Data is securely sanitized. Then, incoming computers are cleaned, tested and re-installed with a new licensed copy of Windows. Work has already begun to get tech to families across the state."

Sorensen says they received a COVID relief grant that allowed them to launch a distribution center in the Metro East to serve the 41 southernmost counties. A second center is going up in Cook County.

He says the company will connect at least 20,000 homes in Illinois in the first year.

Distribution events where businesses and individuals can donate retired computers will be held throughout southern Illinois this winter. For a list of events, click here.



As a news producer and news anchor on All Things Considered, Brad provides the listeners with a recap of the day's top local and state news as well as breaking news at any given time.
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