A team from IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge has arrived in Rochester to develop strategies for the city’s anti-poverty initiative, city officials stated.
Rochester has been one of 16 cities selected in a worldwide competition to participate in the program, a pro-bono initiative of the technology giant to help cities across the world tackle critical challenges through direct consultation and recommendations.
The city will receive $500,000 worth of assistance from the initiative.
“Poverty is Rochester’s greatest challenge and, quite frankly, it is Rochester’s greatest shame,” Mayor Lovely Warren said. “It is simply mind boggling when you try to comprehend how and why a city so rich in resources can have so many people living in poverty. This is why I am pleased to welcome this team of experts from IBM to Rochester today, and wish them luck as they begin to unravel this vexing problem.”
IBM will study the issues that contribute to the city’s poverty rates, and the existing agencies and programs that seek to reduce poverty for the next three weeks, according to officials.
Then, they will deliver a set of recommendations stating how the agencies can achieve better results, and provide citizens living in poverty with a path to self sufficiency.
The Smarter Cities Challenge is IBM’s largest philanthropic initiative, which has made contributions worth more than $50 million to more than 116 cities since 2010.