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IBM Completes Work to Fight Poverty in Rochester

By Staff


scc_logoThe team from IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge has completed its work developing strategies to fight poverty in Rochester, city officials stated.

In May, Rochester was chosen as one of 16 cities in a worldwide competition to receive $500,000 worth of assistance from the technology giant.

Officials from the organization said the group has studied the issues which have contributed to the city’s high poverty rates for the past three weeks, and found Rochester’s systems are not working effectively.

IBM presented its initial findings, listed in the following categories, to the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, Oct. 29:

  • Misalignment of agency services;
  • Reactive with no focus on proactive and preventative actions; program-focused delivery and measurement systems;
  • Unrealized potential within the community; and
  • Inconsistent approach to data.

“I’d like to thank the IBM Smarter Cities Team for selecting Rochester for this project, and for their hard work on this important issue,” Mayor Lovely Warren said in a statement. “They have provided us with a roadmap that promotes collaboration within our community.”

The team is scheduled to release a more detailed report in the coming weeks.

“It was an honor to host my colleagues that were here to work, and live, in Rochester this month,” Martin Laird, a Monroe County native, and IBM’s senior program manager, stated.

According to Leonard Brock, director of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative at United Way of Greater Rochester Inc., overall, the group’s findings have put the city on the right path torward solving the city’s poverty problem.

“Our work is just beginning, and thanks to the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, we have a great start down the path toward a community solution to poverty,” Brock stated.