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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 18, 2000
        Highlighting Technology's Economic Opportunity At COMDEX
                             April 18, 2000

TODAY, PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL CONTINUE HIS DIGITAL DIVIDE NEW MARKETS TRIP AT THE COMDEX CONFERENCE BY CHALLENGING THE TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY TO BRING DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY TO ALL COMMUNITIES, FAMILIES AND YOUTH. President Clinton will address the technology industry's influential COMDEX Conference, to personally challenge high-tech companies to take a leadership role in bridging the digital divide. The President will be joined by students and mentors from Street-Level Youth Media, a community technology center that serves urban youth in Chicago. In addition, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky from Illinois, Fredric Rosen, and Chairman of ZD Events and Jason Chudnofsky, CEO of ZD events will accompany the President.

The President and students from Street-Level Youth Media will also tour the Wireless Pavilion on the floor of Comdex, where the President will see a demonstration of cutting-edge "wireless Web" technology. The educational applications of this technology will allow parents and students to access Web-based information on their school anytime, anywhere, using only a phone.

President Clinton Will Call for Specific Actions by Industry Leaders. In his remarks to COMDEX attendees, the President will challenge the leaders of the high-tech industry to redouble their efforts to bridge the digital divide. The President will ask industry leaders to: - Endorse His National Call To Action To Create Digital Opportunity: Two weeks ago, President Clinton issued a National Call To Action at an event at the White House. Already, over 400 leading high-tech companies and community organizations have endorsed this pledge. - Work With Local Schools To Ensure That All Children Are Technologically Literate: Companies can help reach this goal by donating computers, providing training to teachers so that they are as comfortable with a computers as they are with a chalkboard, supporting the development of high-quality educational software and online resources, and encouraging their employees to provide the technical assistance that schools need.
- Expand Internships To Expand High-Tech Career Opportunities for Underserved Youth: The President will urge companies to expand internships, especially for young women, minorities, people with disabilities and young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Lead Grassroots Efforts In Local Communities to Bridge the Digital Divide: The President will challenge companies to forge partnerships between business, government and community groups to create comprehensive strategies for bridging the digital divide in schools, community centers and homes.

President Clinton Will Announce New Public and Private Sector Commitments to Bridge the Digital Divide: - Over 200 new Community Technology Centers: The Department of Education will announce a combined public and private investment of $86 million over 3 years ($44 million in federal funding and $42 million in state, local, and corporate investments) to create 214 new community technology centers and expand 136 centers. President Clinton is proposing to increase funding for Community Technology Centers to $100 million in the FY2001 budget.
- Doubling of Neighborhood Network Centers to 1,000 Across the Country. The Department of Housing and Urban Development will announce today that it will expand the number of Neighborhood Network Centers to 1,000 over the next two years. These centers are computer-training facilities located in or near HUD-assisted housing developments that offer computer access, staff assistance and a range of training resources to housing residents.
- Preparing Every New Teacher to Use Technology in the Classroom: The deans of over 200 colleges of education will make a commitment to President Clinton to ensure that new teachers are prepared to use technology in the classroom. Currently, many schools of education do not prepare their graduates to integrate technology into the curriculum. The President's FY2001 budget proposes $150 million to work with schools of education to help them reach this goal - up from $75 million in FY2000.