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Illinois donates hundreds of surplus computers to organizations helping veterans

Nation's 1st joint computer donation program to help veterans access job training, employment

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[December 01, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- State officials announced Tuesday that Illinois will donate 400 surplus computers to veterans' organizations to help provide veterans with greater access to online training and other Internet-based employment assistance.

Illinois Department of Central Management Services Director Malcolm Weems and Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Erica Borggren highlighted the benefits of the program to veterans in Illinois.

"We are proud to be the first state to offer a joint computer donation program to help serve those who made the most difficult sacrifices to serve our country," Weems said. "These computers will help organizations provide critical job-training assistance to our returning veterans. CMS will continue to identify surplus property that can benefit veterans and communities across Illinois."

Illinois' pilot computer donation program kicks off a campaign to create awareness of a law signed by President Obama in 2010 supporting veterans' organizations, and to help transfer the federal government's surplus computer equipment to eligible veterans' organizations. The computers donated this week, on display at the CMS Surplus Warehouse, are valued at approximately $150,000.

"Our chance to pilot this re-purposing of federal surplus computers is yet another way that Illinois is at the forefront when it comes to serving those who have served," Borggren said. "Illinois is home to hundreds of veterans' organizations helping veterans on everything from coping with PTSD to training for employment -- and these computers will help them do that work even better."

The Illinois State Agency for Surplus Property redistributes, recycles or disposes of surplus state property and oversees the distribution the U.S. General Services Administration's surplus property. The GSA and the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property have made desktop computers and laptops owned by federal agencies available exclusively for use by veterans' organizations through Illinois' federal surplus program.

"These laptops are going to some of the most critical and underserved organizations in our country today," said Scott Pepperman, executive director of the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property. "Organizations that are assisting our returning veterans now have one more opportunity to help with their transition back into the workforce. Our veterans deserve nothing less than our full and continued support by working to assist those who gave so much."

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Donated surplus computers are refurbished by a GSA-approved vendor to include hard-drive cleanup, data wipes and minor repairs, ensuring the equipment is ready for immediate assignment and use. Ohio-based company Redemtech equipped each donated computer with Windows 7 Professional software, hardware setup instructions, free technical support, online support and software updates through Microsoft, and a 90-day warranty. To ensure environmentally safe retirement of the donated computers, Redemtech is also providing free asset recovery and recycling of the computers.

In fiscal 2012, CMS received and allocated more than $36.4 million in surplus federal agency equipment, including office furniture, vehicles, machine-shop tools and other materials to Illinois police and fire departments, schools, townships, libraries, not-for-profit organizations, and museums. CMS and the Illinois State Agency for Surplus Property currently have more than 1,000 organizations participating in the surplus program.

Earlier this year, CMS donated millions of dollars' worth of surplus boots, coats, mittens and other winter gear to organizations statewide that provide critical services to people in need. To receive federal surplus donations in Illinois, veterans' homes, colleges, work training programs and other humanitarian organizations must meet GSA's eligibility criteria. More information on the program is available at

The National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property and its 50 states and U.S. territories represent more than 67,000 organizations across the nation. Organizations eligible to receive federal surplus property include law enforcement, fire departments of state and local governments, public and private schools, nonprofit organizations serving veterans, seniors and the homeless, and others. Learn more about NASASP at or email Scott Pepperman at

[Text from Illinois Department of Central Management Services file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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