When a Kiewit computer is at the end of its standard lifecycle, one of two things happens, depending on its condition — it’s refurbished and kept on a shelf as backup or recycled.
“We have a large storage room and we end up with a lot of them in there,” said J.W. Hannam, senior network administrator for Kiewit Technology Group (KTG). “Some of them are still in working order. They may not be up to a CAD designer’s level, but they’re still good for browsing the internet or could be used for something like coding camp.”
COVID-19’s disruption of schools and businesses in March left a lot of people scrambling to work from home. KTG has donated a lot of those retired laptops those who don’t have computer access outside of school or work. It recently donated a pallet of laptops to Made New Makerspace, a nonprofit in Omaha, Nebraska.
“They focus on STEM education and cater to families who don’t have access to technology, particularly at-risk youth and foster kids,” said Hannam. He says the program is always in demand, but COVID-19 has increased the need substantially.
KTG also donated about half a dozen laptops to employees at the Omaha Community Playhouse.
“The theater has a lot of hourly workers who were sent home to work, but didn’t have the resources to continue working,” said Kiewit Real Estate Manager Tim Jeffrey who also sits on the board of OCP. “These laptops allow them to be productive at home while still getting paid.”