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Outreach Campaign receives $190,000 AT&T grant
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker and Penn State Vice President for Outreach and Cooperative Extension James H. Ryan accepted a check for $190,000 from Jim Ginty, president of AT&T Pennsylvania, representing the AT&T Foundation. The grant will help underwrite the costs of public outreach on the Year 2000 computer challenge. The presentation was made during a ceremony in Harrisburg in May.|
The funds will be used to support Gov. Tom Ridges Pa2K initiative, which is being managed by Penn State, under the leadership of Dr. Frederick D. Loomis, director of administration, planning and information technology for Penn State Outreach and Cooperative Extension. Pa2K stands for Pennsylvania 2000.
Ridge launched the Pa2K program in July 1998 to raise public awareness of the Year 2000 challenge and to make planning materials readily available.
The AT&T Foundations support illustrates how public/private partnerships can work effectively to address community challenges and promote productive programs, Schweiker said. Penn State has done an outstanding job of helping us make accurate Y2K information available to the public, and we appreciate support from the AT&T Foundation for this critical initiative.
In accepting the contribution from the AT&T Foundation, Ryan said the funding will be used to produce an electronic town hall meeting on Y2K. The funds also will be used to help make Year 2000 materials more broadly available to Pennsylvanians.
Penn State is delighted to accept this generous grant from the AT&T Foundation on behalf of the Commonwealths Pa2K educational campaign, Ryan said. This grant will allow us to significantly enhance our outreach capabilities to meet the needs of consumers and communities in addressing this very critical issue.
Ginty said AT&T in March successfully completed Y2K testing and certification for all its customer-affected systems.
AT&T is pleased to partner with the Ridge Administration and Penn State University to help make Pennsylvanias technology transition into the Year 2000 as smooth as possible, Ginty said. Pennsylvania is a national leader in helping ensure computer readiness for the new millennium, with a role-model education initiative that will reach communities and businesses across the Commonwealth.
According to Loomis, the Pa2K program provides informational materials on the Year 2000, such as workbooks and videotapes, to interested state residents and organizations. Since the program began, Outreach and Cooperative Extensions Outreach Office of Marketing Communications has produced more than 307,000 Y2K brochures explaining the Year 2000 in nontechnical language have been provided to interested groups. The Pa2K program also has provided expert Y2K speakers for more than 120 presentations across the state. Last January, the Pa2K team led a Year 2000 conference attended by more than 350 local government officials from Pennsylvania.
Penn State is managing the Pa2K program under a contract with the Governors Office of Administration. Penn State Outreach and Cooperative Extension provides administrative support and maintains a toll-free phone line in the Outreach Office of Marketing Communications for fielding public requests for information.
Groups and individuals wanting more information on how they can prepare their computers for the Year 2000 can download publications through the Pennsylvania home page at www.state.pa.us or directly from the Pa2K Web site at www.Pa2K.org. A wide variety of Year 2000 materials also can be requested using the Pa2K help line at 1-877-Pa2K-NOW (1-877-722-5669). Groups who want Year 2000 speakers to address their organizations can request speakers through the help line, as well.
Pennsylvania state government has been recognized repeatedly by the Year 2000 experts and prominent publications as a Year 2000 leader. A national survey reported last December ranked Pennsylvania state government No. 1 among the states for Year 2000 readiness.
According to the Governors Office for Information Technology, Y2K repairs have been completed for more than 99 percent of mainframe computer systems used by state agencies under the governors jurisdiction. Those repaired programs have been returned to full service. Work is on schedule to safeguard agencies personal computers from potential Y2K malfunctions. Agencies also are required to complete Year 2000 business continuity plans by Sept. 30.