Biz leaders jump on 'technotrain'

To kick off its new technology center scheduled to open next year, Richmond,

Va.'s Metropolitan Business League is using a "technotrain" to educate minority

business owners about technology.

Ten business owners are being trained on computers and the Internet

by using a recreation vehicle that is equipped with 11 computer stations.

When the owners are proficient in computers and the Internet, they will

be given a computer for their company.

"We realized that many minority business owners, or at least some of

them, were not using technology to the fullest extent possible to enhance

business opportunities," said Lynda Sharp Anderson, president and chief

executive officer of the MBL.

The future E-Commerce Technology Resource Center will be a 3,000-square-foot

technology center designed to teach business owners about the Internet and

other information technology resources. It is scheduled to open in January

2001.

Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, a program of the Office

of the Secretary of Technology, gave a $75,000 grant for the center. It

will be used to cover staffing costs and the delivery of training resources.

Local business owner Johnny Johnson, president and CEO of Marketplace

Holdings Inc., and the Greater Richmond Technology Council spearheaded the

use of the technotrain. The MBL represents more than 300 minority-owned

businesses in the Richmond metropolitan area.

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