AUSTIN, Texas—The Cross-Border Institute for Regional Development (CBIRD), sponsored in part by the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, has received a $150,000 gift from the ATandT Foundation to promote the use of telecommunications and Web-based technologies in training workers along the Texas-Mexico border.
The funding will be used to evaluate the level of computer technology and Internet access in the CBIRD communities. It also will help identify job skills that will be required of workers in CBIRD communities who will seek employment in new and existing industries. It will assist these communities in developing appropriate educational and training programs to meet those requirements.
The gift also will be used to connect communities in the region by developing next generation community networks and knowledge-based networking.
“We are extremely pleased that the ATandT Foundation has agreed to invest in this all-important effort,” said Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin. “In partnership with the foundation and CBIRD, the university is working to develop mutually beneficial relationships in the Texas-Mexico border area.”
Dr. George Kozmetsky, chairman of the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin and co-chair of the CBIRD Bi-national Advisory Board, said CBIRD’s mission is to transform and diversify economic and social conditions of the border region by creating and sharing wealth at home and abroad.
“As a longtime leader in technological innovation and projects that improve the lifestyles of all citizens, ATandT is pleased to sponsor a program that will enhance the quality of life in the border region — an area of great importance to the economic prosperity of Texas,” said Michael Jewell, ATandT government affairs vice president-Texas.
IC2, which issued the grant proposal, is one of several founding members and sponsors of CBIRD. Also involved are the academic, government and private sectors and philanthropic and non-governmental organizations of the border region.