The President's New Markets Trip:
From Digital Divide to Digital Opportunity

April 17 - 18, 2000


Office of the Press Secretary
(East Palo Alto, California)

For Immediate Release April 17, 2000

Motivating Young People to "Get Connected" in East Palo Alto
April 17, 2000

TODAY, PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL KICKOFF HIS DIGITAL DIVIDE NEW MARKETS TRIP IN EAST PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA TO HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF ALL YOUNG PEOPLE HAVING THE OPPORTUNITY AND THE MOTIVATION TO "GET CONNECTED." President Clinton will kick off his third New Markets trip in East Palo Alto, CA, where he will hold a discussion with Reverend Jesse Jackson, New York Liberty star Rebecca Lobo, high-tech CEOs, community leaders and young people from East Palo Alto. His discussion will center on motivating and inspiring all young people to "get connected" and become technologically literate as a means to increasing their future economic potential. The President will emphasize how critical information technology skills are to competing for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the 21st century. The discussion will be webcast on the Internet, giving young people across the country an opportunity to email questions to the President.

President Clinton will announce several private and public sector commitments that expand "digital opportunity" for underserved communities, families and youth. He will then participate in a roundtable with corporate and community leaders, focusing on the importance of closing the digital divide.

Today's visit comes two weeks after the President issued his "National Call to Action" with two major national goals:

  • Provide 21st Century Learning Tools for Every Child in Every School. To reach this goal, America needs to connect every classroom to the Internet, provide all students with access to computers, train teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum, and provide high quality educational content and software.

  • Create Digital Opportunity for Every American Family and Community. For all families and communities to benefit from the New Economy, we must ensure that all Americans have access to technology and the skills needed to use it. We must work to make home access to the Internet universal, bring technology to every neighborhood, empower all citizens with IT skills, and motivate young people to "get connected."

EAST PALO ALTO HAS NOT FULLY SHARED IN THE NATION'S DIGITAL REVOLUTION Although it is in the heart of Silicon Valley, East Palo Alto has not shared equally in the region's phenomenal economic expansion. While progress has been made, the city still faces significant economic challenges.

  • High Poverty Over 80 percent of local K-8 students are eligible for the free lunch program (CA Dept. of Finance, 2000).
  • Lack of Education Technology East Palo Alto schools have a 28 to 1 student/ computer ratio, limiting the ability of teachers to use technology in the classroom. (CA Dept. of Ed., 1999).


  • The Kaiser Family Foundation Commits to a Media Campaign to Motivate Young People to "Get Connected." Magic Johnson and Rebecca Lobo Will Star in the Public Service Announcements that Will Air on 13 Major Networks. BET Will Also Produce and Air PSAs to Encourage African-Americans to Participate in Digital Economy.

  • HP Announces $15 Million Partnership to Expand Digital Opportunity in 3 Communities, Including East Palo Alto

  • Gateway Launches Program for Technology Training for 75,000 Teachers -- Including All East Palo Alto Teachers

  • QUALCOMM Commits $25 Million to Bridge the Digital Divide in San Diego -- Including $7 Million for Math and Science Education

  • PowerUP Commits to Expanding to 250 Technology Centers for Underserved Youth Across the Country - With Major Support from AOL (100,000 Free Accounts Valued at $26 Million Annually)

  • Novell Will Donate $20 Million in Software to Non-Profits Devoted to Underserved Hispanic Populations

  • Cisco Systems Pledges $1.4 Million to Develop 10 Pilot Networking Academies

  • Applied Materials Pledges $1 Million for Digital Divide Projects - Including a Partnership with the Rainbow/ PUSH Coalition to Create a High-Tech Job Training Center in East Palo Alto

  • AT&T Pledges $1.2 Million to The Academy Of Information Technology

  • PeoplePC Will Provide 300 Computers and Internet Access to Schools in the East Palo Alto Community

  • govWorks's Community Commitment Program Will Donate Computer Equipment to Communities it Serves


The Kaiser Family Foundation And Black Entertainment Television Announce Public Service Campaigns to Motivate Young People to Participate in Technology. President Clinton will highlight the efforts of the Kaiser Family Foundation and Black Entertainment Television (BET) to help motivate young people to "get connected" and raise public a wareness about the digital divide. The Kaiser Family Foundation will produce public service announcements (PSA) featuring celebrities and role models who will highlight their connections to technology and encourage young people to recognize ways that becoming technologically literate can open doors to them. Magic Johnson and Rebecca Lobo are the first celebrities to agree to appear in the PSA campaign. NBC, ABC, CBS, BET, MTV, Fox, TBS, TNT, UPN, The Cartoon Network, Odyssey, The Disney Channel, Univision and the WB will all air the PSAs. The National Association of Broadcasters will distribute the PSAs to their 1,000 members. The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the American Library Association and the Digital Divide Network have also agreed to support this effort.

BET will produce and air the PSAs on the BET Cable Network, encouraging African- Americans to use the Internet and to participate in the digital economy. The PSA's will feature major African-American celebrities from the music, sports and film industries explaining the importance of African-American participation in the digital economy, as consumers, employees and entrepreneurs. In addition, and BET Holdings will sponsor an online celebrity auction to benefit efforts to address the digital divide.

  • Hewlett-Packard Announces a $15 Million Digital Village Initiative -- New Program To Start in East Palo Alto. HP will invest up to $15 million in products, partnerships and people in 3 underserved communities -- starting in East Palo Alto. HP's comprehensive approach will focus on programs that serve adults and kids at home, in school, and through community centers:
    • HP @ Home will help families learn and grow together;
    • HP @ School will emphasize enhancing K-12 education through the use of technology; and
    • HP @ Neighborhood Community Centers will help adults and kids to learn, communicate and explore using the Internet, both before and after school.

  • Gateway Launches Teach America! and Commits to Training 75,000 Teachers -- Including All East Palo Alto Teachers. Gateway has pledged to provide 75,000 teachers with technology literacy training under the Teach America! program. This effort will provide teachers with hundreds of courses to increase their use of the Internet and multimedia applications. All East Palo Alto's teachers will be trained in the Teach America! program on ways to effectively utilize technology in the classroom. The Waitt Family Foundation has previously made a major donation of 50,000 Gateway computers for use at PowerUP sites across the country.

  • QUALCOMM Commits $25 Million to Bridge the Digital Divide in San Diego -- Including $7 Million for K-12 Math and Science Education. QUALCOMM will help to close the digital divide with a $25 million commitment -- including $7 million to improve math and science education in San Diego schools through investments in educational technology and enhancing the math and science instructional skills of K-12 teachers.

  • PowerUP Unveils 250 New Sites in 43 States Across the Country. The PowerUP program will announce a major expansion of its successful program to give underserved youth access to technology and guidance on how to use it. PowerUP will have 250 - up from 19 -- new, fully-equipped and staffed sites by the end of 2000. PowerUP is comprised of more than a dozen non-profit organizations, major corporations and federal agencies. The federal AmeriCorps program is a strong supporter of the PowerUP effort and has assigned 400 members to work in PowerUP sites. Partners that have contributed to the launch of the first 250 sites include America Online, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, America's Promise, the Steve Case Foundation, the Waitt Family Foundation, Americorps*Vista, Boys & Girls Clubs, Communities in Schools, National Urban League, Save the Children, YMCA and the Department of Education.

  • American Online Pledges 100,000 Free AOL Accounts Valued at $26 Million Annually. The expansion of the PowerUP is made possible because of commitments from a number of organizations -- including a pledge by AOL to provide 100,000 AOL accounts to PowerUP sites, valued at $26 million annually.

  • Novell Will Donate $20 Million in Software to Non-Profits Devoted to Helping Underserved Hispanic Populations. Novell is expanding its software donation program to include non-profits that help underserved Hispanic populations. The donated software has a retail value of $20 million. Currently, many non-profits are lagging behind the private sector in their use of the Internet and information technology.

  • Cisco Systems, HUD and Communities In Schools Announce 10 Pilot Networking Academies. Cisco Systems, Inc., the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Communities In Schools will announce a program valued at $1.4 million to establish 10 Cisco Networking Academies in underserved communities. The Cisco Networking Academy Program teaches students to design, build, and maintain computer networks through a 280-hour web-based curriculum and hands-on laboratory exercises on real networks. HUD, Cisco and Communities In Schools are also establishing internship opportunities so that Academy students graduate not only with a marketable skill, but also with on-the-job experience. Academy graduates who pass the industry standard Cisco Certified Network Associate exam are immediately eligible for information technology jobs with high starting salaries.

  • Applied Materials Pledges $1 Million and Partners with the Rainbow/ PUSH Coalition to Create a High-Tech Job Training Center. Applied Materials has pledged $1 million to help provide "information for everyone," starting with the development of a high-tech job training center for the people of East Palo Alto, in partnership with local government and Reverend Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

  • Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) Will Pledge $1 Million to Reduce the Digital Divide in Silicon Valley. SEMI, the global trade association for the semiconductor equipment and materials industry, is pledging $1 million dollars to five workforce development programs focused on reducing the digital divide. The organizations that will receive $200,000 each are: Workforce Silicon Valley; Industry and Technology Outreach Foundation; Jose A. Valdez Math Institute; and the Charitech Civic Venture Fund.

  • AT&T Announces a $1.2 Million Commitment to the Academy of Information Technology. AT&T will support the Academy of Information Technology with $1.2 million to develop a high school curriculum that will prepare students for jobs in the IT industry. In addition, AT&T will commit $250,000 to develop a national forum series for underserved communities to engage high school students and policymakers in a dialogue about economic opportunities, education, job skills, and leadership for the 21st century.

  • PeoplePC Commits to Providing Multimedia Computers to the East Palo Alto Community. The President will announce a pledge by PeoplePC to provide the schools of East Palo Alto with 300 new brand name computer systems and unlimited Internet access. Currently, the elementary schools in East Palo Alto have a student-to-computer ratio of 28-to-1, making it difficult for computers and the Internet to be used as powerful tools for learning in the classroom.

  • govWorks, Inc., Announces the Community Commitment Program to Reinvest in Communities Around the Country. govWorks, Inc. will announce the launch of its Community Commitment program to help communities across the country address the digital divide. govWorks will reinvest a portion of its revenue in local communities to purchase computers, high-speed Internet access and technology training, which will be donated to libraries, public schools, and community centers. It will launch a pilot of its Community Commitment program this week by donating computers and a year's supply of high speed Internet access to the Thomas Creighton Elementary School in Philadelphia, PA and to Nora Navara Public Library in New Orleans, LA. Additionally, govWorks plans to provide the school and library staff with computer and Internet training. govWorks expects to roll out its Community Commitment program in 50 cities by the end of the year.

  • NetDay and TechNet "One-Stop-Shop" for Educational Technology. The President will announce a commitment from NetDay and TechNet to develop an Internet-based "one-stop-shop" of information on educational technology, including technology planning, hardware, educational software, professional development, and sources of financial support. The database will be designed for principals, teachers, parent support groups, and community members.

  • The ThinkQuest? Program Bridges the Digital Divide by Reaching Out to Underserved Students. ThinkQuest, a non-profit Internet-based education initiative, will announce a partnership with the Department of Education's TRIO and Community Technology Center programs, HUD's Neighborhood Network centers and ABILITY Awareness to bring ThinkQuest's award-winning program to the large number of students in underserved schools and communities as well as to students with disabilities. The ThinkQuest program guidelines promote teams that include members from diverse levels of computer competency who come from various cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. To date more than 50,000 students and educators from 100 countries have participated in ThinkQuest.

  • The Department of Education Announces Technology Innovation Challenge Grants. The Department of Education will announce three new Technology Innovation Challenge Grants (TICG) totaling $24 million over 5 years. In-kind contributions to these Technology Innovation projects will total more than $67 million. This program serves as a catalyst for positive change for schools. It supports educators, industry partners, communities, parents, and others who are using new technologies to help bring high quality education to every classroom and neighborhood. Effective use of new technologies in these communities will contribute to improved student achievement in reading, writing, science, mathematics, history, the arts and other disciplines. Each project will support training for teachers and promote greater parent and community involvement in education.

  • The National Endowment for the Humanities Announces $1.45 Million In Schools for a New Millennium Projects.The National Endowment for the Humanities announces $1.45 million in Schools for a New Millennium projects designed to train humanities teachers to integrate technology tools into their classroom teaching. Schools for a New Millennium projects include teachers, university scholars, technology experts, local museums and libraries, parents and school administrators committed to bringing digital opportunity into the classroom.


The President will participate in a roundtable discussion with CEOs from the technology industry and leaders of the civil rights community and non-profit organizations. The President will lead a discussion on concrete steps that industry, community organizations and government can take to bridge the digital divide. Participants in the roundtable will include:

  • Dr. Drew Altman, President & CEO, The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation
  • Henry Cisneros, President & COO, Univision Communications
  • Darien Dash, Chairman & CEO, DME Interactive Holdings, Inc.
  • John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins
  • Magda Escobar, Executive Director, Plugged In
  • Carly Fiorina, CEO, Hewlett Packard
  • Rae Grad, CEO, Power Up
  • Nick Grouf, CEO, People PC
  • Rosalind Hudnell, Vice President, Intel Corporation
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH
  • Yusef Jackson, Chairman, One Net Now
  • Irwin Jacobs, Chairman & CEO, QUALCOMM
  • Carlton Jenkins, CEO, One Net Now
  • Robert Johnson, Chairman & CEO, Black Entertainment Television
  • Roberta Katz, President & CEO, TechNet
  • Robert Knowling, CEO, Covad Communications
  • Jim Martin, Senior Vice President, America Online
  • Kenneth McNeely, Vice President, AT&T
  • James Morgan, Chairman & CEO, Applied Materials
  • John Morgridge, Chairman of the Board, Cisco Systems
  • David Robino, Vice Chairman, Gateway
  • Eric Schmidt, Chairman & CEO, Novell
  • Srinija Srinivasan, Vice President & Editor-in-Chief, Yahoo!
  • Kaleil Tuzman, CEO, GovWorks
  • Raul Yzaguirre, President, National Council of La Raza


Back to New Markets Trip


[Footer icon]

[White House icon] [Help Desk icon]

To comment on this service,
send feedback to the Web Development Team.