Booz-Allen, Firefighters Battle Digital Divide

Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc. has teamed up with local firefighters to help bridge the digital divide.

Computer experts at the McLean, Va., consulting firm have taught 13 firefighters how to repair and upgrade used computers for disadvantaged children. Booz-Allen technicians developed the 15-week A training course, the company donated training materials and employees volunteered their time as trainers.

The course is one part of the Computer Learning Centers Partnership, a Fairfax County pilot project to provide computer access for students in disadvantaged communities.

The firefighters have committed to an 18-month volunteer effort, which includes at least six hours per month troubleshooting computer problems. The firefighters will work at the partnership's nine computer centers, most of which are in subsidized housing developments, and will also help students with home computers they receive through the partnership.

The program "will help cultivate the minds and futures of children who may not have access to technology so readily available to some of their classmates," said George Tillman, vice president and chief information officer of Booz-Allen.

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