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Linux Journal: Free Software at Rosenzweig and Maffia

Dec 31, 2002, 13:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ruben I Safir)

"Here in New York City we've suffered from the quadruple whammy of economic trouble with the destruction of the financial district after the September 11th attack on the city, the dot-com meltdown, the stock market crash, and the assault on technical innovation by the media industry. Many of the local Free Software community have suffered badly, loosing their homes, their businesses, and their self-esteem. As the President of the New York Linux Scene (NYLXS), I've had to done quite a bit of hand-holding and support for members. While we've tried hard to move forward with many of the political issues which confront Free Software, the high unemployment in our community has pushed economic development to the top of the group's agenda.

"In July, we started to take more concrete action in trying to do something to stimulate business for Free Software in the NYC community. We had already established a jobs posting site which has helped hook up employers with candidates. But this hasn't been enough. A committee has been formed in NYLXS to try to take on first hand the task to driving sales for Free Software. We've dubbed this effort, 'The Free Software Chamber of Commerce'. The result of our efforts is bearing fruit, and we hope to be an anchor and a safe haven for both well trained consultants and businesses looking for innovative solutions to their business problems.

"NYLXS already had several support programs in place to help its business development plans. First, the organization has Software Institute (FSI), and general education and training program which had already been a huge success. With over 250 individuals trained through the FSI, many individuals were available for work with known business ready skills in Free Software. It had also been responsible for two large business expositions for Free Software with Lagaurdia College, CUNY in Queens, and at the City of New York Graduate Center in Midtown Manhattan. Both events where heavily attended and attracted businesses from around the New York Metropolitan area..."

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