Indiana Daily Student

City of Bloomington announces collaboration with Google.org

<p>Downtown Bloomington is seen from the Seventh and Walnut Street Parking Garage. Mayor John Hamilton said Google.org Fellows will help with the launch of CiviForm without charge, a tool that aims to help provide residents with easy access to government departments, according to a <a href="https://bloomington.in.gov/news/2022/06/06/5199" target="_blank">press release</a> by the city. </p>

Downtown Bloomington is seen from the Seventh and Walnut Street Parking Garage. Mayor John Hamilton said Google.org Fellows will help with the launch of CiviForm without charge, a tool that aims to help provide residents with easy access to government departments, according to a press release by the city. 

Mayor John Hamilton said Google.org Fellows will help with the launch of CiviForm without charge, according to a press release by the city. 

CiviForm is a tool developed by the City of Seattle and Google.org that aims to help provide residents with access to government departments through online applications and assistance programs. 

According to the announcement, 12 Google employees from Google.org Fellowship will work full-time with the local government in a six-month partnership providing pro bono technical services for various nonprofits and civic entities.

The press release said the Google.org Fellowship regularly releases teams of Google employees in nonprofits or civic entities for up to six months of full-time pro-bono work. 

“Google and the City of Bloomington share a commitment to creating opportunity for everyone,” Rob Biederman, director of external affairs for Google, said. “By bringing together the best of Google’s tech expertise with the City’s knowledge of the community’s needs, we hope to simplify the benefits application process for Bloomington residents.”

The City of Bloomington Information & Technology Services Department will be leading the project alongside Bloomington Parks & Recreation. The program will focus on public benefit programs like the Parks Foundation Youth Scholarship and the ITS Surplus Computer Request process. After the six-month term, the City will use CiviForm to improve access to other City services, according to the press release. 

According to the press release, Google researchers have already conducted user interviews to understand customer needs and improve the customer experience. 

“This partnership can help our residents access and apply for city programs,” Mayor Hamilton said,  “It can help city departments review applicants in an equitable and consistent manner.”

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