CHARLESTON, W.Va. --
SecondLaunch West Virginia Initiative, a program from Dave Cartwright, the Department of Education Assistant Director of Infrastructure and Network Operations, is one such program with West Virginia Air National Guard involvement. This project takes old technology that businesses and organizations no longer use and refurbishes and puts it back into action for schools in need.
In the recent months, Master Sgt. Josh Powell, Tech. Sgt. James Providenti and Senior Airman Joseph Craft, all members of the 130th Airlift Wing’s Communications Flight (CF), have been working closely with Cartwright to give old technology to schools in need across the state of West Virginia.
“This gives the technology a kind of second life,” said Providenti. “It’s another way that the Guard can give back, all while utilizing the technology and saving the state money.”
The main goal of this project is to reroute, rebuild, reload and reinvest the equipment for the benefit of the students. Together, with the benefit of the students having efficient equipment, savings for the DOE are expected to accumulate more and more over the years. So far, equipment from SecondLaunch has reached 47 counties in the state, saving the DOE roughly $1 million per year.
With organizations like the West Virginia Office of Technology or companies like Toyota and the newly added partnership with the West Virginia Air National Guard, the technology donations are expanding and the relief to the underprivileged areas of the state who can’t get the funding for all the equipment needed continues to accelerate.
As of Nov. 9, 2017, the 130th AW has given 50 devices, with 150 waiting to be loaded up and more than 300 in the preparation stage from the Communications Flight. With 400 laptops, 300 desktops, and handfuls of network switches and old printers making their way to the preparation stage, the 130th CF is looking to maximize their efforts to provide local schools with everything they can to improve the technology education aspect in area schools.
With the ever-growing technology industry, and the need to have the best tech available for smooth operation, the 130th AW has proven to be a valuable partner to the program.
Typically, if a replaced piece of technology has to be disposed of, there is a process of demilitarizing, then sending it to a warehouse to be resold. Through this newly established partnership, the program saves the schools money all while giving students a better platform for advancement.
The computers and technology don’t only go to the kindergarten through 12th grade schools, but to vocational schools as well for hands-on training. The 130th CF donates technology to different technical schools where students learn to build computers, perform IT functions, and refurbishing them. After they are refurbished and running like new, the equipment is sent to K-12 schools.
“The 130th CF staff has done a great job assisting the SecondLaunch Program,” said Lt. Col. Stacey Shade, the 130th CF commander. “By us giving them our excess resources it helps both of us, and at the same time represents what the National Guard and the 130th is all about, giving back.”
With the new partnership with the SecondLaunch program, the 130th AW plans to provide them with as much equipment as possible from the everlasting rotation of upgrading technology. This program represents the Air National Guard’s commitment to service in our state by bettering the community one computer at a time.