Employer Partner Control Group to lead tech strategy of LinkNYC Public Wifi Project. Per Scholas graduates to be trained for upkeep of devices throughout City.

New York City approved a plan to replace a total of 7,600 outdated pay phone booths with public WiFi kiosks in all five boroughs by 2019.

LinkNYC is a first-of-its-kind communications network that will bring the fastest available free Wi-Fi to millions of New Yorkers, small businesses, and visitors. The icing on the cake? Per Scholas will partner with Control Group, who has provided internships, jobs, volunteers, and donations in the past to Per Scholas, and Titan Outdoor Communications on the project to train operations and maintenance workers to upkeep the devices throughout the city. That means good jobs for Per Scholas graduates, and the chance for them to be involved in a massive 21st Century investment to New York City.

“When Per Scholas was founded in the mid-nineties, we were on a mission to bridge the digital divide in our most disconnected communities. Bringing free high-speed wi-fi and future-forward public technology like LinkNYC to all New Yorkers addresses the divide head-on. Per Scholas is proud to support this work and help ready the workforce to roll out this exciting technology,” Angie Kamath, Executive Director of New York, expressed of the program.

What does LinkNYC mean for New York City?

  • Overall, New York City will see a 125X increase in the number of available payphone Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Staten Island will see a 279X increase in available payphone Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Brooklyn will see a 192X increase in available payphone Wi-Fi hotspots
  • The Bronx will see a 245X increase in available payphone Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Queens will see a 124X increase in available payphone Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Manhattan will see a 100X increase in available payphone Wi-Fi hotspots

The last decade has seen an upsurge in innovative companies and start-ups transforming many areas of New York, notably Brooklyn’s Navy Yard and Dumbo neighborhoods. These communities – once considered downtrodden – are now vital seed beds for young businesses and opportunistic entrepreneurs. This trend has positively altered the socio-economic landscape of those areas by creating countless jobs and providing a huge boost to local businesses.

Yet somehow, the same innovation renaissance that continues to redefine boroughs like Brooklyn has not made its way to the Bronx. A number of factors have played a role in this, including a lack of infrastructure in some of these areas – but it hasn’t been for lack of trying.

Until now, parts of the Bronx and other underdeveloped areas of the city have lacked any sort of technological infrastructure for growing jobs and attracting new business. Through this initiative, the Bronx will see a 245X increase in available payphone Wi-Fi hotspots.

Connectivity is a powerful tool that will give overlooked and underdeveloped parts of not only the Bronx, but other parts of New York City an invaluable boost, paving the way for innovative and tech-savvy businesses to begin transforming these neighborhoods. A surge of tech-enabled businesses will bring new, higher-wage jobs to the Bronx. Read more on Control Group, LinkNYC, and Per Scholas’ job creation Urban Development Center project.

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