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Avoiding consolidation chaos

Cloud-based IT management software that Seattle used to complete a citywide tech consolidation in 2019 kept city agencies from delving into “mass chaos,” one official recently told StateScoop. Jenny Rock, a service management engineer in the city’s IT department said that the software, Ivanti Neurons, was “invaluable" in tracking software and hardware assets and detecting new devices that join the city’s network. Without it, she said, “the rest of the city would just hate us.” Ryan Johnston reports.

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As officials seek to rebuild a more equitable country coming out of the pandemic, much has been made of the transformational potential of aid flowing from the federal government to states and localities across the country, San Jose, Calif., Mayor Sam Liccardo and Florida State Sen. Loranne Ausley write in a new commentary. Liccardo and Ausley are co-chairs of the NewDEAL Forum Broadband Task Force, a new national group focused on equitable broadband access. Read the column.

Speaking of San Jose

One thing Liccardo is trying out to close his city's digital divide? Deploying 20 wireless hotspots, designed for cryptocurrency mining, that city planners believe will help raise money to fund broadband service in 1,300 low-income households. The hotspots are designed by a crypto company called Helium, and mine HNT, a proprietary coin that can be swapped for other cryptocurrencies or U.S. dollars. Ryan has details.

'Tinder for jobs'?

As states look to rebuild their economies after the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, workforce development agencies should strive to build digital services with the same ease-of-use and familiarity as a streaming service or dating app, speakers said at an AWS event in Washington. “We don’t have a choice,” said Scott Jensen the former director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. “If we don’t find talent for these employers, we’re just not going to be competitive in the world.” Jensen, who now leads the nonprofit group Research Improving People’s Lives, said his organization is helping states build digital platforms to help workers get back in the field, which he likened to "Tinder for jobs." Benjamin Freed had the story.

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