History of TECH CORPS Georgia
A nonprofit organization bridging the digital divide in Georgia

History of TECH CORPS Georgia

TECH CORPS Georgia, Inc. (TCGa), a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, mobilizes the resources of Georgia's business and technical community to help local area K 12 schools and school communities meet their technology needs. TCGa's computer recycling program has provided computers and training to hundreds of teachers in the Atlanta area. TCGa's volunteers help schools improve their technology programs.

TECH CORPS Georgia, Inc. is Born!

Tip Kilby, founder of Computers for Classrooms, Inc., and Dan O'Hara, founder of Community OnRamp, Inc. held an organizational meeting on October 16, 1996 for people and companies interested in forming a Tech Corps chapter in Georgia. The "Developmental Charter" was signed and submitted in January, 1997. The chartering process with Tech Corps was completed shortly thereafter. The signataries to the charter were:

Tip Kilby, Chief of Tech Corps Georgia Planning Committee, and Executive Director, Computers for Classrooms, Inc.

Dan O'Hara, Co-Chair of Tech Corps Georgia Planning Committee, Vice President of Professional Services, Solution by Design, Inc., and President of Community OnRamp, Inc.

Dr. Aaron Bertrand, Associate Director for Technology and College Programs, CEISMC, Georgia Institute of Technology

Jane Crozier, Principal, Global Education Partners, Inc., and State Chair, NetDay Georgia

Don Dahms, Financial Aid Counselor, Atlanta Area Technical School, and Member of Board of Directors, Computers for Classrooms, Inc.

Beryl Grall, Executive Director, Business and Technology Alliance

Randi Kahn, Manager of Training and Conferences, Nonprofit Resource Center, Inc.

Stephen Thomas, Chief Technology Officer, At&T Tridom

Background of Tech Corps Georgia

The national organization, Tech Corps, was launched in October 1995. Its mission is to recruit, place and support volunteers from the technology community to advise and assist schools in the integration of technologies into the educational system. More than 42 state chapters including Georgia have been started. Each is chartered by Tech Corps©. Each establishes its own approach to dealing with local educational issues and challenges.

In Georgia we started with an existing, operational, nonprofit organization, Computers for Classrooms, Inc. Beginning in 1993, this organization provided schools in the Atlanta area with computer training for teachers. Its innovative Computers4Teachers program incorporated the use of donated computers and software with an effective course of introductory computer classes to provide hundreds of teachers with their first "taste" of computers. In an effort to increase its statewide effectiveness throughout Georgia, Computers for Classrooms, Inc. completed the process to become the state organization for Georgia under charter to Tech Corps. The new name under which Computers for Classrooms, Inc. would thereafter conduct its affairs now became TECH CORPS Georgia, Inc. (the abbreviation, "TCGa," is used throughout this web site and other places).

First Year Strategy

Since June 1997, Computers for Classrooms, Inc. committed itself to making Tech Corps a reality in Georgia. After several months discussing and planning meetings, we completed a draft document for our two-year strategic plan. The document outlined our approach for starting ten school pilot-projects in different parts of Georgia during the first full year of operation. These pilot projects were designed to give us critical first-year experience in the issues involved in recruiting, placing and managing volunteers in schools. Additionally the pilots helped us better understand how best to work with school systems. During the second year, with solid experience under our belt, we expanded our network of schools throughout Georgia.

We established pilot projects in three school systems: Atlanta Public Schools, Hancock County Public Schools and Spalding County Public Schools. We established an additional seven pilot projects by the end of the 1997-1998 school year.

Other TCGa Accomplishments

In addition to our volunteer pilot projects, we aggressively pursued our Computers4Teachers training program. Our paid staff of two in four months provided computers and training to more than 140 teachers and had an additional 200 on a waiting list. Additionally, we provided more than 100 computers with software and training to low income families with school-aged children through our "Family Technology Workshops." Collaborating with the Apple Corps' Technology Links program, we provided another 100 computers to support technology training and parental involvement in Atlanta public schools.

TCGa volunteers have now participated in five NetDay events, helping wire numerous schools in the Atlanta area to give children access to the Internet.

Community OnRamp Merges with TECH CORPS Georgia, Inc.

One of our founding organizations, Community OnRamp, decided to focus all of its resources on TCGa efforts. Its members recently decided to merge with TCGa, and donate its remaining financial assets to TCGa. Community OnRamp's founder, Dan O'Hara, who played an instrumental part in organizing TCGa, became a member of the board of directors of TCGa.

Free Bytes Merges with TECH CORPS Georgia

A grass-roots organization called Free Bytes, established in 1993 and dedicated to refurbishing donated computers for distribution to Georgia’s nonprofit communities, merged with TCGa on January 1, 2003. This created a more viable, cost-efficient organization.

In concert with the mission of TCGa, Free Bytes is devoted to keeping unused or discarded computer equipment out of landfills. Our talented volunteers reconfigure and refurbish your computer donations, and distribute them through our various TCGa programs.