so, welcome everybody. Glad to see you all here today. I know we have a couple of new people who are joining us. One, we are very privileged to see Steve Zylstra who is the President and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council and the SciTech. Institute. Steve, just quickly about I know people know about the tech Council and stuff, but you want to just take a second and talk about the tech Council.
Sure. So we're statewide organization. The trade association focused on science and technology based enterprises. We have offices in Phoenix and Tucson, we have about 750 member companies. We do public policy advocacy at the state and federal level on behalf of our members, sort of the voice and the face of the tech industry. And we do over 100 events a year. About a third of those are in Tucson, two thirds are in Phoenix. We do do events now. And then and Flagstaff, and Prescott and other places. We have a magazine and newsletter to podcasts, lots of reports. And for smaller members, we also negotiate lower cost products and services of rooms, we run a 401 K program. So even if you had four employees or eight or 12, you could have a 401k for your employees. Through our multiple employer plan, we run an association health plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, and can get better rates for our member companies than they could get going directly to Blue Cross. So you know, full service trade association. We have about 15 standing committees, hundreds of our members participate in those committees. And so that's a little snapshot of the Tech Council and then SciTech is a 501 C3 focused on K through 12. STEM education. We run the Arizona SciTec festival, run a program called Chief Science officers in the middle school and high school science schools all designed to develop the next generation of talent has served the tech industry in Arizona. How's that?
That'll do it. And most of you may know that. I don't know if she's a but Karla Morales is with the tech Council down here in Tucson has been participating fairly regularly with the task force
And Kelly Green is here from the SciTech Institute. Sometimes, Kelly or Jeremy, I did just want to say on the public policy front, we're really closely aligned, the AZ BSN report and 1120 really coordinated in integrated with the tech Council broadband policy I've been writing for, what Steve 10 or 12 years now as part of the big annual policy guide. So, you know, the policies are quite aligned between our thinking generally, and what the tech Council promotes.
And Mark and I go back, go back what the 30 years mark with Steve in the tech Council.
Yeah, back to GTSpeed in the original Arizona Software Association and Steve led to high tech groups here in the late 90s. went to Pittsburgh, build their tech Council and came back here.
nice to see everyone.
And you've done a great job. Steve building the tech Council and it's pretty awesome organization.
Thank you, Steve. Appreciate.
Okay, so do we have a couple of other people come in? If you've been on before? That remember if you've been on on the call before?
Coleman, are you there? Yes, yes,
I'm here. Okay.
You want to introduce yourself real quickly? Coleman?
Yeah, yeah, I've I've been to meetings before but there's been a gap. I'm with week here Tucson. We're a nonprofit based out of Tucson obviously formerly worldcare. And we refer take in and refurbish us technology. We give some of it just out to the community. out to the community and sell some of it in order to fund our other main mission, which is giving out free, durable medical equipment. And yeah, and we've been been with the council and Aiden for a few months now. Definitely interested in getting more involved.
Cool. I'm glad you could join us today. Coleman. Thank you. Yeah, I mean, Javier, I see you're on the call. I think you were you were on once before, if I remember correctly, but you want to introduce yourself more quickly.
Yeah, good afternoon. Steve I am Javier Baca with Pima County it directly Pima County. And sorry, I got John Waite here just to visit meetings before this, but glad to be here and eager to get to hear what's going on. Good to see you all.
Sounds great. Have you ever and we need to reconnect offline, sir? Yeah. And James ready.
James, are you there? I guess he'll be back.
Okay, and Dan Stormont down. Are you? Did you have a new job now?
No, Steve, I'm still doing the same thing I was doing before. I'm still with the Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS program. I'm in a different position than I used to be. I used to be the regional manager for Arizona, of course. And that's now Reggie Reggie Carrrilo n the Phoenix area. But yeah, I'm still doing the good work down here in Tucson. And it's always great to be with you.
I thought I saw on your LinkedIn or something that you were with Concordis?
I'm actually yeah, I've always been with Concordis. Concordis is the vendor that I work for that works for Microsoft. So I'm not a direct employee. And none of the regional managers or program specialists with the TEALS program are actually full time employees of Microsoft. Got it?
That was very confusing to me. And Elizabeth Bartholomew, hello. Well, I don't know if I'm not pronouncing your name correctly, I'm sure.
Yeah, last name is Bartholomew. I've been on these meetings a couple of times, but I'm with traversant Group and we represent the WIA. The wireless infrastructure Association.
Yes. Do I have a good memory? It's just a little short. I tell people all the time. And fortunately, it's true.
And a member of the Arizona tech Council,
All right, cool. Anybody else that's new that I've missed? I know our speaker, you're gonna hear from him just a little while. But anybody else that hasn't been on the call before? Okay. Well, let's, let's just jump into it. Just a reminder, that after the formal meeting for those who want to stay online and Kibitz, with our Colleagues, we do have an informal gathering, we turn off the recording, and people just chat and share information to ask questions or whatever. And that might be two people, it might be 10 people, it could be 15 minutes, it could be an hour, it just kind of depends on the mood at that particular time. So anyway, you're all invited to to participate in that. So moving on, and before I get into introducing Nicole, I don't believe Sandeep is on the call today. But before I turn it over to Nicole, Alycia de Mesa, and Cindy Hogan Iput in you put you on the agenda, since you guys have a lot of stuff, hopefully to say or maybe not yet. Anyway. But anyway, we do want to hear want to hear from you. So with that, Nicole, can I turn it over to you? And can you give us an update? And maybe give us an update for Sandip? So well, Cindy, you probably can also but Nicole, you want to give us a quickie update, please?
Sure. I see. I see your your notes here that you have published a link to the Request for Comment from NTIA. And so that's still open those comments due on May 1. So this is the call for public comments related to the two programs that are established under the digital Equity Act, which is part of the infrastructure and Jobs Act. States have already received that digital equity planning fund. That's what we're working under right now with the state. And so these comments are for the state capacity Grant Program, also called the implementation. So after states create their plans, they then will apply for this funding to implement some of those key priority actions that they've identified. It's also related to the competitive grant program, which is available for state agencies, tribal governments, municipalities and localities, nonprofit entities, universities. So all of those types of applicants would be competing for the same same pie here, which is the competitive grant. I think that's really one of the key things. We had a pretty busy week last week at the National Tribal telecom Association meeting, that was two days of meeting with tribal telecoms and service providers. Multiple broadband offices, were also there in attendance to talk about, you know, certainly be be projects as well as other priorities and even a digital equity panel. So for those of us who've been in some of these broadband conversations to see digital equity, being, you know, in the same settings, and the same discussions as infrastructure is a great thing. The on Thursday, we also had an NTIA's Tribal Convening. So that was for recipients, and applicants of the tribal broadband connectivity program. And we had over 300 people in attendance at that event where they could get a deep dive with some of the NTIA team members as well as to go over some some technical aspects of those implementation grants and in preparation for what's called no fo two or the second round of funding for the tribal broadband connectivity program. We are, you know, as you know, we've the broadband office has selected their consultant, or their sub, you know, they're sub awardee for the for part of the digital equity planning on the state's behalf. And we're getting started with a kickoff meeting with those planning teams, as well as some of our state agency partners to set the pace. So I'm going to make sure that Sandeep and Cindy can share a little bit about that once they are
But Thanks, Nicole. So when I talked to the woman who was coordinating that the tribal conference?
Sonia, yes, yes.
She was saying that they weren't going to be talking a lot about digital equity. So digital inclusion, like they did, and that's a good thing.
Yes, in fact, I was on a panel. On Wednesday afternoon, it was the it was the last panel of the day. So you know, there's there's that piece with Mikhail Sevendust, with a gentleman from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, and with a library consultant Carson block who's participated, or he's kind of run some broadband training for library staff and planning. So it was, you know, certainly at the end of the long conference stick can be tough. And I know digital equity came up and a few of the other conversations on around bead as well, because those are simultaneous programs.
Nicole, mark with a question. My. So for the tribal round two, I just saw two more announcements in round one, I think now, point seven, 5 billion allocated so they're not quite done. But are you getting any sense of the timing for the launch of tribal round to the approximate billion dollars in additional funding? No, we
don't we don't have a set date yet.
Thank you. Any other questions for Nicole?
Thank you, Nicole. So as Nicole mentioned, we have a couple of new folks. And Cindy Hogan which you all may know by now has been appointed with the Arizona broadband office, digital equity program manager. And Cindy you've been on? On for what a week now? She has. So how's that going? And any things you want to tell us at this point?
Yeah, it's it's just been a little a little hectic. And I know, Sandip is just always super busy. We were going to try to talk before this call today. And we didn't get a chance to I may have to hop up it off in a minute. But so I've spent one day in the office. I'm doing a lot of onboarding and getting to know the ACA really well. It's which is I mean, I'm so impressed. to a real I'm really enjoying getting to know more about that organization and all the all the fingers that they have out into the, into the economy in Arizona. And and the support that we're getting for our they're very excited about having broadband come to the fore a little more and, and pursue that as part of as part of their overall plan for the state. So, yeah, I'm really excited about that. But I don't have a whole lot to report.
Okay. Well, obviously Cindy, in the next couple of weeks, it'd be good to hear from you about, you know, what your plans are where, but your kind of agenda is and so forth. Yeah.
And Mala just reminded me that I haven't given my my new email address. So I'll put that I'll put that in the chat along with my title and look forward to hearing from everybody.
And I did share it also. Okay, good, Cindy. But go ahead and do that. Anyway. Sounds good. And Alycia, I think they're online. Is there anything you can tell us yet about the contract that you guys have with for the digital equity Institute?
Nothing new at this point. I mean, as he, as you all know, digital equity Institute was awarded the state planning. And at this point, we're just kind of in a little bit in a limbo in terms of what Nicole was alluding to and spoke about planning. And we'll probably have some updates in the next couple of weeks.
And, Alycia, I'd like to have an offline discussion with you also. Sure, Cindy, we need to do that too. Sure. Okay, any questions for either of them before we move on? So a quick announcement, and then we're going to get into our presentation for today. So Will Novak, who is Government and Community Affairs Manager with Google Fiber for here in Arizona, sent me a note, he's going to be a new participant with us, but unfortunately, he hasn't been able to make the meetings. And he couldn't make it today, because they are in the process of launching Google Fiber in Mesa. But he did ask me to tell you folks that you are invited to join them with the Renegade Coffee Company. And he said they'll buy you breakfast, although don't expect a big breakfast, said one item and one drink. So you know, that there'll be to be there to answer questions and give you kind of an update on what their plans are. So that's at renegade Coffee Company on Thursday, March 30, seven to 9am. So you're all invited to to join them and find out what they're all about.
So moving on, I want to get to our presentation today. Andy Ridley, who is Workforce Program Manager with the state of Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, and I just want to say a couple of things before I turn it over to Andy. And Andy, I think you may have some things you want to share. So I'll stop sharing in just a moment. But I had the chance to, actually Cindy and I and Erin I think is on the call, had a chance to meet him at the workforce summit down here in Pima County a couple of weeks ago. And since that time, Andy and I have chatted a little bit. And one of the things I was asking him about was what what are they doing in terms of digital inclusion, and so forth. And so the today we're going to hear from him about what that workforce program looks like. And then to just have an open discussion about how can we best collaborate and how does it fit with our interest of doing digital literacy. So with that, Andy, I'm going to turn it over to you. And if you need to, I will stop sharing and let you share if you'd like to do justice Andy? Yes.
I hope I live up to the the accolades. But yeah, definitely. I'm happy to be here. Excited to be here. And yes, I want to share my screen. So I am not going to do death by PowerPoint, though. I promise that I just want to introduce myself to you but more importantly, the Arizona career readiness credential and its newest edition digital literacy Basics. I'm Andy Ridley, my original background is education, and leadership and education. And after you know Not really choosing that career, but doing that, because that's what was needed at the time because I had a family. Later on in life, I found a career that I really enjoy, and that is working with workforce. And essentially, you know, helping, helping job seekers find better employment, or helping employers find better job seekers and all the intermediaries in between. And that has landed me in OEO, the Office of Economic Opportunity. And we have a small team workforce team along with the other, the other side of OEO, that runs all the labor market information for the state of Arizona, the the economists and, and the Census Bureau folks, and they're the ones that come up with the the labor numbers each month, and really excited for the work that they do. They're very professional, please utilize them for concerns, questions, issues that you have related to needing data related to labor, market information, and employment in general wages, etc. Now, out of the workforce office, we attempted to address an item that came up about eight years ago, when Governor Ducey took office and ran a lot of research out of ACA, you know, there's on a commerce authority and our office OEO that really tried to focus on the fact that employers were finding it difficult at least thinking back about eight years ago before kind of the change the economy, where we have more jobs than we have employees are candidates, job seekers. But at that time, it was difficult, and to find a qualified workforce at all. Now, it's just difficult to find them with these foundational foundational skills. And I said that backwards nowadays, it's it's hard to find a workforce at all. But back then the, the focus was that we also wanted to satisfy what employers were clamoring for. And that was essentially foundational academic skills that were workplace related, and professional skills like attitude, effective communication, problem solving, teamwork, etc. Now, when COVID had, we also ran into a lot of feedback from employers that had furloughed, you know, for a few weeks, or a couple of months, a number of folks are laid them off, and they were hiring back. And they said, Yeah, but, you know, we're going to want to hire these folks that will work remotely or virtually, and what do we have that would validate whether they can do that? So we've added to what is the current Arizona career readiness credential that validates the professional skills and workplace foundational academic skills with another component. But before I jump into that digital component, just essentially, the ACRC is that assessment in the end, for assessments in the areas of workplace math, workplace reading, workplace data analysis, and professional skills. And those that pass can be leveled based on the academic assessments, the professional skills as pass or no pass. And so with that, they're awarded with a certificate that is, you know, the governor signature seal of Arizona, in other words, and validated by the state out of our office. And this is a no cost to any user, any entity, one of our any of our partners that that helped proctor the assessments, the employers, and no one has a cost, it's all covered and out of our office. But the key piece that we discovered a couple of years ago, was the digital literacy component. Now I know out of the task force, a lot of attention is given to broadband or in other words, the the infrastructure. And that's really only one of the two major prongs of digital situation that we have in our in our state and the other prong is the literacy component. You know, 60% of the people well across the world anyway, are connected to the internet, probably even more present than that in Arizona, but it's continuing to increase as we increase our broadband seven 80% of our employees use email, at least if nothing else, digital communication. 83% of us rely on some kind of technology to collaborate. And clearly three out of five of us actually use a computer on our job. So that's the why we need digital literacy. So out of that, the vendor that provided the other four components of the ACRC developed for us rapidly, and we're so proud of them. And they came up with a very thorough and comprehensive approach to the basics of digital literacy, five essential modules, and one final proctored test that can determine a person's capability or skill in digital literacy. And the five components, I think you're important to mention real quickly, I'm not gonna I know you're looking at the screen, but just to point it out how to use the the hardware, how to use the software, the digital communication basics, and the Internet, part of the software and documents part of the software. So we're processing or, or spreadsheets or whatever, you know, and then security basics. And, you know, essentially understanding your privacy settings and passwords in the policies of your company to to guard the security. And the end, then, and this is a sample of the of the certificate that comes out of that that explains on the back, literally, component by component what the what the John Doe has passed. And just like the ACRC, it's part of the program, it has the seal of Arizona, the governor signature and, and a date achieve. And it's not, it's not going to have an expiration date, because this is a digital literacy basics. But I think that's essentially what the employers of today are looking for. So, you know, I just ran through that rather quickly, I didn't really give you much of an overview of ACRC. In general didn't. That wasn't the purpose of of my visit today. But whenever Steve feels it's appropriate, I'll certainly take questions, I already popped into the chat, a website address for the ACRC, where much more information is available about the program in general, not just specifically the digital literacy, it being a newer component isn't very highly highlighted on the website. And also my contact information, at least my email address. There you have a phone number too. So that can you Steve, based on where you want to take it from here.
Okay. Thanks, Andy. So, questions for Andy. And particularly, and I have some questions, but I want to wait and see what other people questions or comments people have. So any questions or comments for Andy, before we move on?
I have a comment. It's Andy Sinclair DES, I like the certificate, the fact that it has a list of all of the things that this person may have been trained in. It's like, when you go to get your vehicle serviced, you see a checklist of what all of that mechanic is trained on. So I picked the severity concept. Yeah,
as I went back to that slide to show very clearly does that and the broader certificate of the ACRC does a similar feature, including that the level achieved how it pertains to certain jobs zones of, of the job that might be sought using that certificate. But this particular certificate, yeah, outlines those five components that I kind of rattled off rather quickly.
Other questions the target age for this?
There is no target age, other than it's probably not necessary for 12 year olds or younger by the time they graduate from high school around the age when they would be seeking employment, they might have all of these digital literacy basics, and we will have bigger worries on our hands of AI for things to deal with. But so I would say,
Well, I would disagree with that statement. But I mean, you have you have those that don't have technology, so they're not going to be adept to these things. That's why I was asking, What's the age bracket of this program?
Well, and that's the key of this program, too. Is that because people aren't adept, and I know I rattled it off rather quickly. And so we've showed it a slide that the outcome is a test but it's back Doube with learning components that are from the same portal, so a person can work through developing, at least as soon as they have a, an account to log in to this portal, they can work through practicing all of the various basics of these components, and very thorough lessons to assure that they have a broad foundation of digital literacy.
And he could you stop sharing for a moment, please.
Got it. So anybody else have questions? Or comments?
So, I'm sorry, I
just, yeah. From what from what you're showing, it sounds like it certainly has potentially broad appeal. Right? Digital literacy has very broad, very broad appeal. And I think it's, it could cross over into a variety of areas. I'm wondering if there's been any outreach to the libraries and such because libraries, for instance, from their website, like, for instance, the Maricopa County Library as an example, they have up the top, I have several items there where they got immediate research and learn. And then from the drop down, they have different services that are available. So I'm just wondering if that's a potential Avenue there, to get them to get the word out to share the resource. Because I mean, it's a put sell face and that somebody can go through it. That would be fantastic. But yeah, I'm just wondering if there's any other avenues you've explored on how to get the message out, and others that are using it. And before when Sharifa was talking about age groups and such, I can see high school is doing this sort of thing quite readily, especially for those who are just looking at trying to get into employment, maybe it's their first job and they want something that they can go through, maybe this is one of those avenues for?
Well, absolutely. That's the reasons I bought this meeting is to get the word out, we've only had it out for probably about six months, we immediately rolled it out to our already ACRC partners. And you know, many, many dozens over, over about 150 have already completed the assessment. And but Yeah, certainly we want to get the word out. And this particular group is one that is, is a perfect fit, I believe.
So Erin, I think your head your hand up, and I think you've just met Stan below if I'm not mistaken. Erin.
I was picking up my kid and Carline apologize for that. Thank you for calling on me. Yeah, so I was just gonna say that Andy and I actually just met this last Friday. And we are evaluating it for potential addition to what our Connect Arizona digital navigators offer. And especially with the workforce development aspect, you know, we see a lot of people who are looking for digital skills, for that very reason. And to Shriekers point 100% Yes, kids that have cell phones do not necessarily know how to use computers, right. So there's a lot of potential there. And we're evaluating it at the State Library at this time, Andy, just a side note, since I haven't had a chance to email you yet. We are interested in setting up a user account for me. So I'll send you that information. Thank you,
good to hear. And we'll do that.
For everyone else. That's why I left my contact information. You know, I rattled this off really quickly, there's a much more lengthy presentation we can do to whatever your group is. And if you're interested in looking at it more deeply. That's kind of what Aaron and Erin was referring to that she and I had probably about a half an hour meeting last Friday. And so we can we can bring that presentation to whoever your group is, and whatever it would take, whether it's your school district, obviously, the entire program is ideal for for a school and numbers of your schools are already adopting the entire ACRC program, including salary, your competitor and fire over there. Not that you're competing, but you know what I mean? They're already taking the first steps of bringing this on. So I will you will find my email already in the chat. If you scroll up. I'm going to put it in there one more time, though.
Andy, how long does it take to get through the program?
Well, now's a really good question to you know, because if you start with a person who doesn't even know how to turn a computer on, well, they can't even use the program because it is in itself digital and I get that I know it's kind of an issue but once there capable of maneuvering through logging onto the internet enough to get to this portal, then it also depends on how quickly it's self paced how quickly they want to go, we don't really have a study yet on on, you know how much time people are spending in the system for digital literacy specifically. But on average with any of our modules, they've been spending an hour to an hour and a half in a separate module before they move on to an additional module. So with five modules, I would say, you know, seven and a half hours, maybe on average, seven or five to seven and a half hours. But again, depending on how deeply they want to master their skill. And these are very, you know, technical skills. So maybe that's a little more involved than perhaps some module in mathematics or reading. So it'd be a guest just at this point. Thank you.
So the were there any on ground places where people can go to, to work through this? And I think we, we've already talked a little bit about libraries. I know you guys work with the regional workforce development organizations around. And so these are places where people can say, you know, I want to do this, but like, you were just saying, I don't know where to start, is that we have?
Approximately, yeah, so I didn't mean to talk over you. Pardon me, we have approximately 100 different partners across the state. Now, this includes the schools, the community colleges, the Arizona work, you know, workforce centers, or job centers, whatever you'd like to call them, one stops, the libraries will become a great new addition, because that's a that's a Central Community, resource, and nonprofits, various nonprofits. And it just depends if they're one of our excuse me, one of our partners, so you can always connect with me and ask me, where's the closest partner, you know, for example, I'm looking up on the screen. So I'm picking on you somebody that Manny via, you know, down in Tucson, that's your Arizona at work will be the partner down there or Pima Community College. But that doesn't mean we're not open to other partnerships. We have a number of nonprofits, most of them are Phoenix based. That's just because we haven't had the outreach coming to us from the, from the nonprofits in in Tucson yet. But we made a lot of connections about 10 days ago, when we were down to that summit. So ready to start making some new relationships. So this is consistent with our interest to be able to do digital literacy around the state. And so obviously, he's got a network of people already, that we can connect with and figure out how we can best collaborate with all of them.
Any other questions or comments for Andy? So obviously, this is a continuing discussion that we need to have, because it certainly fits with all of our interest in, in talking about digital literacy and digital literacy training. And, and I would also suggest me if I'm speaking, if I'm speaking out of turn, let me know. But you might, you will, might want to take a look at the curriculum, and say, you know, this is great, but maybe we could tweak this or we could do this for a different population, or whatever, because they do have a good foundation to work from. And as Aaron already pointed out, that they're already starting to work with with this particular curriculum.
Yeah, and as a former educator, you know, I can I can vouch for the curriculum is quite top notch in all aspects of the program. So also in the digital literacy realm, they've done an excellent job on producing a curriculum that is user friendly, intuitive, and yet progresses you through the skill development at a good pace so that you're not you know, spending a year in the program trying to learn it.
Shereka Are you still there? Oh, there you are. I see you. Shereka. I would suggest that you follow up with Andy I assume you're you have some interest for your population and for your program, and I would definitely follow up with him about that. about how you can collaborate and use those resources.
Yeah, I'd be interested in seeing the resources first before sure I promoted. Got to know what I'm promoting. Sure.
Sure. Any other questions for Andy? Well, thank you, Andy. Well, I look forward to having some additional discussion with you about how we can best collaborate with you.
Well, thanks so much for inviting me to be part of your meeting today. And to just to the rest of the program, and I've added you to our list, and hopefully we'll see you right early. Yes.
That would be my anticipation.
Thank you. Sounds good. So Shereka. Just to change gears for just a second. You want to talk about your visit on Friday.
So much fun. We, so yeah, so we went down to U of A to visit Dr. Brian Carter, and the humanities, and we got to see all this stuff. Man, he has so much tech in there, it was just overwhelming. But we have to forward giusti or forward you all my digital business card. That's a hologram that I created down there while I was there. It was pretty fun, but just to see what they have going on. And they have a green room. That's a square booth. And so it's just cameras wrapped around you so that you can just, you know, teach. And they it's an app that if you've all been to their website, it's an app. And so it puts the virtual person in your house. So like you're watching the classroom there. And so we just talked about what they're doing and how they're going to move it forward. Yeah, we're there for about three hours. So we were nerding out for about three hours with all the equipment. And so it was pretty fun.
Yeah, the app that he's using, I can't remember the name of it off answer we
are. That's it? Yeah. Beam. Yeah.
So I've actually requested an account. Theoretically, we're not eligible because we're not a school district. But I've asked if they would provide us a free account, which they do for other school districts. But it's pretty cool. It's pretty cool technology.
Yeah, it was fun. It was because I took two of my friends and we all like literally on our drive bag. That's what we're talking about. So we're, yeah, it was fun. It was a good time. But I'll send it to you, Steven, you can plop the link into the email if people want to see my digital hologram business card now.
Cool. Well, we'll definitely be following up with with Bryan and find out more about where he is with the implementation of his grant in southern Arizona. Okay, any other questions, comments? Or today? I have a couple of things. I'm going to share my screen again for a moment. So a couple of other things. What you want
see heard I want a million dollars. Yes. What do you want?
Okay, so, Mala I think you were just going to listen, Mala I know is in the throes of wrapping up E Rate applications for now. So I don't know if you're even still on my one. And if you can take two minutes
or not. I am still on.
Can you take couple of minutes or not?
Yeah, justa couple of minutes. Actually. I'm not going to give an update or anything. But yes, we are. Tomorrow, the last day is the deadline for filing eRate applications. So we'll know. Hopefully next week I should be able to report on how the applicants applications went and how many millions we applied this year, schools and libraries and SHLB has is filing a cybersecurity comments on me for you know updating ERate cybersecurity. So let's see how that goes. We are really struggling to make sure that that happens again that they have asked for cybersecurity funding to be included in Category Two, as that's not fully being utilized. So let's see how FCC reacts to it and how other applicants reactivate as well. So I will give you a better update next. Next week, this time, as always,
You do great work and bring a lot money into this state to support our schools and libraries. So thank you for all that work.
So Erin, I know that you're kind of remote. Do you want to say anything? Or not?
Yeah, really quick, I just wanted to let everyone know that we did send out an email to the county librarians and all of the public library directors, alerting them to the end of the continuous enrollment for the Medicaid benefits. That was something that changed over the pandemic where things were automatically renewed, and people didn't have to prove their eligibility. And so on April 1, that automatic and re enrollment is ending. And so we worked together with various internal partners that access and care first Arizona as well as the Arizona Children's Alliance to put together some information to send out to the library so that they're prepared for that. So that went out and no negative responses, but a few positive responses saying thanks for letting us know. So that's always encouraging. I also wanted to give a quick update, I have sent the full list of all of the libraries in Arizona to Lyle ashita, over at FCC, he is going to be sending 1000s Millions, not millions 1000s though for sure, of print brochures regarding ACP enrollments, directly to all of our libraries. And so that should help with the awareness campaign that we are hoping to have here in Arizona around ACP enrollments, he's got that list as of the end of last week includes primarily English and Spanish as well as some special orders in Braille and large print for our Talking Book Library. So that we can also serve the low vision population of the state. And so I don't have a timeline on eta, and when those things are going to be arriving at the libraries. But that's the next step in the phase. Once I know when that happens, we'll go back to all of the libraries and let them know to be expecting them. And hopefully that results in you know, the other million people or whatever it is that are eligible to sign up. Those are all my updates right now.
So Erin here, I thought you were just sitting around looking for something to do? No.
But as always, you're doing great work. I don't think Holly is on the line at the moment. And I don't believe Janet major is on the line. So we're going to just head down to the Arizona Department of Education. And Philip, I'm pretty sure you you were on the line. Are you still there?
I'm still here. I'm always here most of the time.
You're there when you except when you're not.
So a couple of things coming from the Office of Digital Teaching Learning at the Department of Education. So we have paid for a one year membership for all k 12. Charter and districts to have a cosa membership. Coaching is the consortium of school networking. So it's on the national level. That means a lot of K-12 held together in student data privacy, cybersecurity and other policies that are pretty relevant to K 12.
So, yep, so
we paid for that memberships, all these k 12 just have to do is fill out a contact form, to see to put who's the main point of contact for Kosen. And it goes from there. If you are wondering if you're eligible as an education institution, you can reach out to me. And then I will I will forward you to Kelly Krusee who is our Community Engagement Manager. And any questions about cosin?
There's many of us
on here too, because I know he's big in K 12. And yeah, that exciting. I'm glad you're still here. Another thing that's coming out March 29, which is this Wednesday, we are having a roundtable for K 12 for rural and tribal school districts.
So Shelby Brown is head heading that up. Nicole, I believe from NTIA is a guest speaker about bead as well. So that's open for k 12 And you know, school superintendents everything like that. And then our final update
is the we're having a tech townhall April 10 at Sunny Side Unified School District so I will drop that post as well in the chat. That way they're all there for
people to grab and and screengrab and share out. So a couple of exciting things.
Hey, Paul. Yes,
Paul has been a good friend of mine in case of miss working with him on Fridays I hearing him talk. So
that's it from us.
Okay, so I did talk to excuse me to, to Phillip, last week about possibly having Shelby and the representative from DES, who is their tribal representative. And EJ, maybe we can talk also about having the having them on a panel here to kind of really give us an overview. And I also am reaching out to Janet, to get a kind of an overview of where are we with what's happening with the tribes these days. So that's possible that we might do that next week, if I can pull that off. Okay. Anything else?
So Derek, I don't believe you're here. Rory, I don't think you're online. But I do want to say that Rory had just renewed his sponsorship. So I actually can get paid for another month. And so, Rory, I know you're not online, but thank you very much for renewing your sponsorship. And my one, I guess, is not online, but he's probably busy also, with earache. So with that any other updates announcements that people have events coming up that you want people to know about?
Steve, usually Karla would announced, you know, tech Council events of particular relevance. Right, maybe Steve Zylstra will talk briefly about the upcoming cybersecurity Summit. Steve, if you're still on? Do you want to give that a minute of background in the date? No.
Yes, I'm here. Thank you, Mark. You're going to embarrass us. I forgot the date, but it's coming up in May. And it's the 11th 11th. Thank you.
It's our annual cybersecurity Summit. And we we do it in collaboration with Accra, which is run by Frank Grohmann. And it's a half day of intense presentations around everything related to cybersecurity. And this year, it's going to be at the Arizona Heritage Center, which is essentially the Arizona history museum, and which is really beautiful space. And the reason we're doing it there is because we did it at venue at 600. Last year in north Scottsdale, and it was tight. The the the event is really growing and very well attended. So if any of you have any interest in cybersecurity, find all of our events and register for all of our events at AZ tech council.org. Just go to the events tab and you'll find the cybersecurity Summit. So we also do an event in December. It's a sort of a breakfast forum, also very well attended. So we'll keep you posted on that as time goes on. Thank you, Mark.
So Steve, who on your staff, actually, let me stop sharing here again. So who in your staff at coordinates that cybersecurity conference?
Well, Ron schott is the staff liaison to the committee that helps us develop the topics and presenters and sell on our cybersecurity committee, but Darryl Emerson, who is our director of programs and events, you know, manages all of our signature events like the cybersecurity Summit. So connect with either one of those are rschott@AZ tech council.org or D. Emerson at AZ tech council.org.
The reason I'm asking Steve is and we've had some discussions, and hopefully, we can get around to getting a cybersecurity team under the taskforce here to look at some of the cybersecurity issues. Because as you know, we're giving out, we're giving out lots of devices, we're connecting all these people, but we're not doing much in the way of cybersecurity. And so we really need to figure that out. And it would certainly be helpful with the people who attend your summit to have some understanding or maybe even some dialogue or forum or something related to that particular population. Because I know that you're that that conference I've attended in the past and it's a great conference, but it's focused really on IT professionals, CIOs and so forth, but not really to how do we address this other population of people?
Yeah, well, there's no more topical issue in the digital world today, right? There's a lot of bad actors around the world. And they're trying to get into all of our systems. And there's nothing more critical to us security right now. And the security of all the companies we represent it. So it's It's as hot topic as there is out there. So anything we can do to support you in that regard, Steve, just let us know.
Yeah. So we'll talk. We'll talk some more. And I know, I've talked some about that. But definitely want to figure out if there's some way I know it's late in the process right now. But if there's some way to sync that with that conference would be great. I'm not trying to hijack it, but but if we can figure out how to integrate it somehow would be really great.
Now, we could talk further about that on our committee level.
Okay. You bet. Okay, anything else for today? Anything else for the good of the order?
Well, if not, and no announcements or anything fall You're so quiet, although you did talk today but always have to click on your ball, you know that. Okay, well, if we don't have anything else, and I think we're, we're done for today, and I'm going to stop recording and