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Nonprofit View: CTIC provides resources to Carroll during COVID-19

The Carroll Technology & Innovation Council (CTIC) was conceived in 2001 by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce as the Carroll Technology Council, to assist businesses and the community with their technology needs. As the Tech Council matured, the need for businesses to congregate and share with like-minded peers became apparent. The Carroll Technology Council became an independent nonprofit organization in January 2004. In 2020, the Tech Council rebranded as the Carroll Technology & Innovation Council to better suit the needs of its members and the direction of the organization.

Since our inception, the CTIC has developed many new programs that benefit the county. The focus has been on building relationships between member organizations, facilitating the development of technology expertise and potential business opportunities for them.

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When we rebranded to add innovation to our name, we had no idea how “innovative” we would have to become this year. Let’s face it, no one saw the COVID-19 pandemic coming to the United States, and we had no idea of the effect that it would have on our local community and businesses.

Being a community partner, the CTIC has worked diligently to bring technology to those in need through our TechKids & TechWorks programs. We have a formal memorandum of understanding in place with Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) and referral process in place to assist students without technology in their homes. When CCPS moved to home-based learning, the CTIC stepped up providing computers to their students. In April, we hosted a “Drive thru Computer Pick Up” day where CCPS students received computers. CCPS and the CTIC have worked collaboratively for over 16 years providing over 3,000 computers to individuals, families, and nonprofits in Carroll County.

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CTIC’s TechKids/TechWorks program models were the only programs of their kind in the state of Maryland until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Since then, we have assisted other organizations so that they too can create a similar model and provide these services within their own communities. It is important to note, that our philanthropy programs would not be possible without the generous support of community philanthropist, grants, and monetary donations.

However, it is not just students that we have assisted during the pandemic. Daily emails have been sent providing information from the Maryland Department of Commerce, Small Business Association, Carroll County Department of Economic Development, and others to assist Carroll’s business community navigate COVID-19 business resources such as PPP loans, Small Business Grants, and other funding opportunities. Often, businesses have commented regarding the usefulness and relevance of the content that was provided to them. We are pleased that the CTIC has been a reliable resource for our business community.

The mission of the Carroll Technology & Innovation Council is to assist in the advancement of technology and business innovation in Carroll County, simply by “Moving Carroll Forward” and our vision is that we are “empowering our community to reach its full potential.” We are proud to say that we have certainly been all of that (and more) for Carroll County and beyond during the COVID pandemic and invite you to join us.

Kati Townsley is the Executive Director of the Carroll Technology & Innovation Council and can be reached at kati@carrolltechcouncil.org. For more information about the Carroll Tech & Innovation Council, please visit www.carrolltechcouncil.org.

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