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  • Date: January 4, 2022
  • Category: give IT

How your company’s unwanted tech can improve the economy

The article below about unwanted tech appeared in the December issue of IMPACT, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce’s monthly newsletter. We’ve edited it slightly to reflect the fact that we provide refurbished computers to people in need throughout New England and IT asset disposition services nationwide and we’re sharing it here because it perfectly sums up our belief that 2022 is going to be a great year for digital inclusion, both here in our home state of Maine and throughout the United States.

In the 20 years that we at give IT. get IT have been pursuing our mission of advancing digital inclusion, we have never been more optimistic about the future than right now.

Our excitement is inspired by the $250 million the federal government is sending to Maine for the express purpose of increasing the availability of broadband internet access throughout our state. This breathtaking sum of money will provide a leg up to many of the 85,000 Mainers who currently lack broadband internet access.

That’s great news, but every state needs to do more to achieve true digital equity.

At give IT. get IT., we believe digital equity is a four-legged stool made up of:

  • Guidance (not salesmanship)Digital Inclusion Stool

  • Dependable computers

  • Technical support

  • Broadband internet access

If one of these legs is missing or inadequate, the digital equity stool can’t support anything. While it’s wonderful that thousands of Mainers will have broadband internet, what about the 65,000 Mainers who don’t own computers? How will they take full advantage of new opportunities to train for new jobs with nothing more than a cell phone or tablet?

As the video above summarizes, give IT. get IT. has been stabilizing the other three legs of the digital inclusion stool since 2002.

Formerly PC’s for Maine, give IT. get IT. is a non-profit organization that converts businesses’ unwanted tech into tools and opportunities for people.

Over 240 businesses, including IDEXX, Bangor Savings Bank, and Systems Engineering) utilize our R2 certified electronic recycling services. Thanks to these businesses, we collect unwanted tech such as outdated laptops and PC’s from all over New England, refurbish and upgrade them into powerful, dependable machines, and ship them to people in need at low or no cost. We provide one-on-one guidance to connect our clients with the right computers for their needs throughout the process. We also offer a full year of free technical support and training from our friends at the National Digital Equity Center.

Since the pandemic, demand for our services has skyrocketed from people who need to work remotely and attend school virtually. As excited as we are to see the federal government step up to increase broadband internet access all over the country, we’re seeking the support of the business community to help us support the other three legs of the digital inclusion stool.

To start, we’d like to ask every small business owner as well as every large business CEO, CIO, IT Director, or Sustainability Officer one crucial question:

Where does your unwanted tech go?

If you don’t know, or the answer doesn’t fill you with a sense of pride that your business is helping people in need achieve digital equity, we’d like to connect with you. Please call our Operations Director Chris Martin at 207-322-6257 or email him at cmartin@itec3.org.

Together, we can use your unwanted tech to help people of limited means rise above their unique challenges, achieve digital equity, qualify for skilled jobs, and improve the economy.