We do not advertise this program through conventional channels - instead we depend on advocates to identify suitable participants. This maximizes social return from the gifts of materials, time and funds so generously provided to this program. This is often as simple as putting PCs for MAINE program posters in a visible place in your facility - and as involved as embedding our computer literacy training into your existing workforce development, support or educational programs.
Common advocates are educators (head starts, public K-12 schools, community colleges, adult/continuing education), economic/career development groups (Career center councilors, Voc. Rehab., Economic Development Councils, Small business developers) the non-profit sector (womens' business advocates, workforce integrators and developers, incubators, literacy programs, individual development & sponsorship groups) and business/community sustainability groups.
If you have any questions or ideas you would like to discuss, use the contact link in the top menu to share them with us!
Thank you for what you do,
Chris Martin- Co-Founder of ITE and the PCs for Maine Project
Who we are and where we came from
PCs for MAINE was launched in 2002 to help build Maine's 21st Century Workforce by making the cost of personal computer ownership as low as possible - and to provide basic user training and a host of supports that empower people to maximize the impact of their technology toward their goals. Our founders understood that families without a personal computer, or the skills to use one - often have limited job marketability or unstable employment which resulted in lower family incomes, latch-key kids and lower literacy rates.
Comprehensive computer literacy
We learned that cost (buying and maintaining a computer) was only one factor that kept people from having access to technology. Larger obstacles are fear and intimidation and a lack of quality (and free) technical support and few training options that do not assume some prerequisite user skills. We decided to build these supports into the program and experienced a significant increase in program participation and outcomes.
Quantifying the results to date
So far, the program has provided more than 9000 computer systems that have been used by more than 120,000 Mainers from Kittery to Fort Kent. The average actual cost paid for each computer with all of its support services is $227. The market value of this service is more than $910 - if such a service was available. Since our meager beginnings, ITE has grown to a $730,000.00 annual budget, has a staff of 10 employees, over 80 advocates, 6 regular volunteers, 30 non-profit partners, has received $540,000.00 in grants and over $4,200,000.00 in donated technology from Maine businesses - all leveraged to maximize our impact Maine's future.