|HUD No. 016|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Friday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||January 19, 2001|
CUOMO ANNOUNCES FIRST NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORK IN AN ALASKAN NATIVE COMMUNITY
WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo announced today that HUD will open its first Neighborhood Networks center designed to serve an Alaskan Native community. The center, located in Bethel at the Eddie Hoffman Senior Center, will serve the community of the Orutsararmuit Native Council.
The Bethel Neighborhood Network is the newest of a national web of high-tech resources at which public and private organizations, neighborhood groups and housing developments collaborate to aid residents. There more than 800 Neighborhood Networks nationwide. HUD launched the initiative in 1995.
"I'm pleased that one of my last official acts as HUD Secretary is to open this center," Cuomo said. "During my tenure, I have been committed to serving people who have been left behind, and this center is an important resource that will help improve the lives of many Alaskan natives."
The Bethel Neighborhood Network will host educational programs for youths and adults as well as programs that increase job skills. The center has the potential to reach about 5,500 residents in Bethel, located near the Bering Sea. Bethel is the base for about 56 native villages.
HUD's Office of Native American Programs joined forces with the local native village and Accenture, formerly Andersen Consulting, to open the center. Accenture has committed nearly $10,000 for computer equipment and supplies and technical support. Other partners include the Association of Village Council Presidents Housing Authority, which contributed $25,000. Bethel Native Corp., and other local entities are also providing support.
The center also received technical support from Native eDGE -- short for economic Development Guidance and Empowerment. Native eDGE is an inter-agency federal initiative that helps tribes enhance their economic infrastructure by providing access to resources that enable them to better bridge the "digital divide," the term often used to describe the chasm between those who have information and those who need it. Native eDGE maintains a web site at http://nativeedge.hud.gov.
For more information on the Neighborhood Networks visit the HUD web site at http://www.hud.gov/nnw/nnwindex.html.