The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced a $1 million grant to the Silicon Valley Talent Partnership, a public-private initiative that aims to address challenges and build community in the Santa Clara-San Jose region.
The grant will enable the partnership, which was established in 2012 by the City of San Jose and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, to expand its efforts to recruit skilled private-sector volunteers to work with local government agencies to address gaps in capacity, time, and expertise. To date, SVTP has enlisted the help of more than eighty volunteers from companies across the region on a range of projects, including work on a design lab at the Stanford d.school, development of a marketing and communications plan for the City of Santa Clara, and development of a summer reading app in collaboration with the San Jose Public Library System.
"Many local governments are faced with the pressure of declining resources and increased demands for effective and responsive services for citizens," said San Jose mayor Chuck Reed. "The vision of the Silicon Valley Talent Partnership is to leverage Silicon Valley’s talent to assist public-sector agencies and enhance their capacity to innovate."
Local business leader Lea King, who has thirty years' experience in the private sector, including positions at Cisco, AT&T, and GE, was tapped to lead the project. Most recently, King served as the executive director of Race2Educate, a nonprofit focused on providing educational opportunities for at-risk children.
"Silicon Valley is home to some of the best talent in the world," said Carol Coletta, Knight Foundation vice president for community and national initiatives. "Encouraging local government to take advantage of this talent pool will help spark civic innovation, make government more responsive, and ensure deeper ties between residents and the cities where they live."