Down East computer training program to showcase efforts at national conference

Posted Jan. 11, 2013, at 5:29 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — An ongoing effort to expand computer literacy in Washington County will be a highlight at a national conference on broadband access next week at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C.

The Jan. 16 event will include a keynote address by Lawrence E. Strickling, who heads the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. His speech will showcase a number of technology training success stories, including a two-year, $1.4 million program that offers free computer skills training throughout Washington County, an effort being coordinated by Axiom Technologies in Machias.

Strickling’s speech will be followed by a panel discussion. The four panelists will include Susan Corbett, Axiom’s founder and CEO.

“This is indeed an honor for me, but truly a bigger honor for Maine to be recognized for this work,” Corbett said Wednesday.

The Washington County program is one of 230 broadband access projects nationwide funded through a $4 billion grant to the Commerce Department’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included $7.2 billion to expand high-speed Internet services and to build technology infrastructure and computer skills.

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