Boulder is among the first cities to be selected by Google for a company initiative that gives participants six months of pro bono work.

The city will enter the Fellowship program offered by the online giant’s philanthropic arm.

Staff from five city departments will have access to a team of eight Google employees, who will use their expertise across product management, software engineering and user experience design to help households, especially certain underserved populations, more easily access city services and programs online, a city news release stated.

“The city is grateful to have Google and excited to explore this improved service for our community,” City Manager Jane Brautigam stated in the release.

City programs such as recreation center discounts and scholarships, affordable housing programs, food tax rebates, child care subsidy, financial assistance for older adults and energy rebates will be made easier to enter for residents across city functions and through an online tool, the release said. The project will explore whether the tool officials are looking to develop with the company can be delivered online in Spanish, too, the release said.

The Google program offered to Boulder is expected to deliver 50,000 hours of free work to nonprofits and local governments in 2019.

“This is the first time we’ve done a civics project outside of the Bay Area, and we are thrilled to have the Fellowship and our dedicated group of fellows in Boulder, a city w’eve called home for 13 years,” Google head of external affairs Lauren Lambert stated in the release. “We cannot wait to see how this project goes over the next six months and hope that by providing pro bono support to the city, we will be able to create a lasting positive impact for residents in the local community.”

Two other Boulder concepts that were considered finalists for the company’s program may also be explored during the fellowship, the release said. Those are technology aiding engagements with residents of all abilities, including those with hearing impairments or need translations from English, and a permitting process navigation tool.

More information will be posted to the city website at once the project launches, the release said.

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