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Intel Helps Katrina Evacuees

Posted by: Olga Kharif on September 13, 2005

Yesterday, I went to a special refugee center in Portland, Ore., where local agencies and volunteers help evacuees from New Orleans start a new life in Portland. About 250 evacuees have arrived into Portland over the weekend, and they need help with everything from finding housing to searching for a job.

And I’ve been really impressed with the help that chipmaker Intel, which has plants and research centers near Portland, has provided.

The company has set up a computer lab, equipped with 25 PCs with Wi-Fi connections, in an empty classroom of the Washington-Monroe High School where the refugee center is located. People can use the lab to apply for jobs online, to compile their resumes or simply to write e-mails. They can also make free long-distance calls from that room.

For people who have nothing -- most have brought with them only a handful of personal belongings, some have no I.D.s -- that's huge help.

Most of these people still feel lost and are in shock. They have no phones to contact their loved ones. Many of them have had to travel on a bus to come here for four days, during which time they had no way to get in touch with their relatives and friends. So this small service makes a huge difference.

As far as I could see, Intel was the only company helping local agencies take care of the refugees. Way to go, Intel.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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