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Illinois CIO wants to boost women and minority vendors

Illinois CIO Jennifer Ricker this year established a new Office of Supplier Diversity, dedicated to helping the state Department of Innovation and Technology meet an annual goal of awarding at least 20% of its contracting money to woman- and minority-owned vendors. “Procurement’s a challenge generally, I don’t think that’s a secret,” Ricker said in an interview. “Even more so if you’re a smaller firm trying to get into the government space, particularly in technology where it’s dominated by pretty big players.” In an average year, Illinois awards between $150 million and $200 million in IT contracts. Benjamin Freed reports.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Code for America safety-net lab states show improvement

Five states are experimenting with new technology and customer-focused approaches to make food and health care benefits more accessible. The states — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota and Louisiana — were selected earlier this year to participate in Code for America’s Safety Net Innovation Lab, which aims to help states close coverage gaps in social benefit programs. “What is it like now to try and enroll for SNAP, and how quickly can people receive those benefits? What are some of the frictions in between, and how do we make sure we don’t lose people eligible for benefits due to paperwork burden?” said Tracey Patterson, vice president of Code for America’s social safety net programs. Lindsay McKenzie has the story.

If you're having legacy problems, I feel bad for you son...

The Oregon Department of Transportation had 99 systems — now it has one. On the Priorities Podcast this week the department's innovation lead, Ben Kahn, explains how it consolidated all those programs into a single application, improving agency efficiency and making it easier for residents to access services. Listen to the podcast.

New NYC Cabinet for Older New Yorkers could mean friendlier tech

New York Mayor Eric Adams last week announced a new multiagency Cabinet designed to improve the services offered to elderly residents, a project expected to lean on the improvement of the digital services available to the public. Included in the new Cabinet is Matthew Fraser, the city’s chief technology officer and commissioner of the Office of Technology and Innovation. Fraser said in the press release the city is “committed to increasing access to connectivity, devices, and skills training” for older residents. Colin Wood has more.

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