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Will new initiative create Chicago IT jobs?

Posted on June 30, 2015

A new initiatve that focuses on technology could create more Chicago IT jobs.

The City of Chicago Technology Plan identifies 28 initiatives in five key areas as part of a comprehensive vision for a future shaped by groundbreaking technology: next generation infrastructure, making every community a “smart” community, effective and efficient government, civic innovation, and tech sector growth.

The City of Chicago Technology Plan provides a roadmap to drive Chicago to its aspirations of opportunity, inclusion, engagement, and innovation for all.

Leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors are working together to educate the city’s children, build stronger companies, and create a “smarter” city, using big data, civic engagement, and technology start-up incubation – using cutting-edge technology to accelerate Chicago’s economic growth and create jobs, while making the city more efficient and livable.

The number of schools with sufficient IT infrastructure has increased more than ten-fold over the last four years – CPS completed the installation of a fiber internet connection with a minimum of 50 Mbps in every CPS facility and distributed over 15,000 iPads to students in welcoming schools. By 2017, the bandwidth in every school will be doubled, each classroom will receive its own wi-fi connection, and every student will receive a wi-fi connected device.

Through a series of public-private partnerships, the City now provides free wireless at Garfield Park and the South Shore Cultural Center through a partnership with Google; North Avenue, Osterman/Hollywood, Montrose, Foster, and Rainbow beaches as part of a pilot program with Cisco and Everywhere Wireless; and continues to partner with SilverIP Communications to provide wireless service at Millennium Park.

The Chicago School of Data project was launched in early 2014 and is a collaborative framework to encourage civic innovation in Chicago, bringing together individuals from nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and government to encourage data sharing and problem solving with the goal of creating engaged and healthy communities.

Open Gov Hack Nights are gatherings of civic-minded individuals and serve as an open forum to advance civic projects; brainstorm new civic projects; and learn about open data, smart cities, and open government. More than 150 Hack Nights have been held to date, and attendance continues to rise, strengthening Open Gov Hack Night’s role as a town hall and support center for Chicago’s growing civic-hacker community.

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