The Foundation Center
Articles of Incorporation
Gokstad Viking ship
The goal of Merisol Services, Inc.
is the empowerment of individuals and communities by providing the resources and
training for a dynamic community operated Technology and Multimedia Resource Center.
The basis for this program is the recognition that access to modern information
systems technology and the resources available with the Internet is becoming a
vital component in creating and maintaining financial success. There is a growing
disparity between the financially disadvantaged members of our nation's communities
and people who have access to computer information systems education and
the Internet. This topic, commonly referred to as the digital divide, is
an issue that has been raised for several years, and currently by
President Bill Clinton. Access to education in information systems and to
Internet resources is becoming increasing vital for employment
opportunities, community financial stability, and ultimately the ability
of our nation's companies to maintain a qualified workforce. The demand
for Information Technology (IT) professionals is so high in the US that
four out of five positions filled are a result of recruitment from other
companies. Nationwide, companies are forced to look for qualified
employees proficient in high technology systems internationally.
Access to information and resources such as the availability of medical
records, legal resources, tax information and electronic filing and
electronic commerce over the Internet is becoming increasingly important
for senior citizens, minorities and disadvantaged individuals, sectors of
the population which lacks access to Internet information resources and
computer systems education.
There is a high demand in Central Oregon for local computer information
systems training from both local industries and from companies specializing in
high technology wishing to relocate to central Oregon. Central Oregon
Community College (COCC), the only source of local training in computer systems,
has a long waiting line for classes in this area. The unemployment rate in
Bend and the surrounding counties are among the highest in Oregon. Central
Oregon has the highest minority rate in the state, a group which also
suffers from disproportionate unemployment rates and from a lack of
minority owned businesses.
The vehicle for for the fulfillment
of the mission statement of MeriSol Services Inc. is the creation of Community
Technology Resource Centers. This program offers individuals local paid jobs
training programs in a variety of Information Systems skills. This program is
designed to train and train and employ local members of the community in all
aspects of the operations of the Technology Resource Centers. Thus the function
of providing training within the Community Technology resources
Center fulfills the needs of the community for high technology jobs training
while addressing the need for free community access to high-speed Internet
resources and computer information systems under the guidance of participants
in the program. The goal of this program is the transferrance of the Technology
Resource Center to the community.
This project is designed to be an
ongoing and permanent program, developing in scope to train targeted
individuals in a wide variety of computer systems and clerical skills. Participants
will be trained in business administration, project leadership, accounting,
fiscal management, grant and proposal writing, accounting skills, secretarial
skills, broadcast video production, photo journalism, desktop publishing,
multimedia graphics development, Network Administration, and Intranet and
Internet Web Site creation and maintenance.
An integral aspect of this program is the mentorship roles of both instructors
and participants. Participants will carry this model forward in their role
as mentors to members of the community who need access to these resources.
Participants will be available to instruct members of the community on
Information Systems Technology and Internet access for their medical, legal,
and educational needs and interests.
Participants will be selected from
applicants and individuals recommended by participating community organizations.
The selection committee will be composed of the Project director, instructors,
and staff from the Human Resources Department. Selection criteria will be
based upon income level or other status as disadvantaged individuals.
The Technology Resource Center's departmental functions will be divided
into tasks that become focal points for arranging mentorships. Mentors will
be selected based upon their experience, skills and their committment to
the mission and goals of the corporation. Staff from each department will
work in a mentorship capacity with their Task Groups. The participants will
be admitted into various Task groups based upon their preference, skill
level and upon the recommendations of the Selection Committee.
Participants will be responsible for electing two representatives to
sit on the Oversight Committee. These representatives will work under the
supervision of the Project Director. Their functions are: Tracking the
the Project Manager in providing training to Task Group Managers in the
methods used for tracking Management goals; They will be taught the use of
computer software tools to create critical path analysis of the project
stages, defining related projects, and coordinating timely completion of
Project Tasks with other Task Group Managers. Task Group Managers will
take part in periodical board meetings with staff. These meetings serve as
a forum in which participants and mentors periodically take stock of the
project as a whole, evaluate progress, and report to the Oversight
individuals, minorities and other selected members of the community in challenging
activities through which they will learn valuable social, managerial
and technical jobs skills, grow, feel connected and gain a sense of pride
in individual and group accomplishments and newly found abilities. Participants
will learn to work as team members and as mentors.
- Establish a community based resource center that will provide instruction
to members of the community who lack access to computer information systems
and to the increasing important resources. available over the Internet.
- Create Task Groups within each department of the corporation to provide
Participants with the requisite training necessary to operate the respective
- Select Task Group Managers to work as assistants to the mentors,
providing a higher level of training in managerial and project leadership skills.
Specific tasks to be created and skills to be acquired include the
- The development of management skills through educational training,
mentorship with management and staff, and participation as Task Group managers.
- The development of accounting/fiscal management skills through
educational training and mentorship participation with the accountant
and fiscal manager.
- The development of computer skills, including accounting software,
word processing, spreadsheet and database programs, project management,
and financial reporting.
- Training in corporate financial management, developing business
reports, and tracking financial goals.
- Developing team work, project leadership and management skills.
- Developing skills in fundraising and public relations.
- Developing skills in media relations.
- Developing skills in education and experience in photo-journalism and
- Developing skills in in writing proposals, grant writing, and
nonprofit corporation fundraising.
Existing organizations and
media channels, as well as the establishment of Intranet and Internet Web
sites will be employed to provide current information of the Program to
Board members, participants, staff mentors, and to present and potential donors.
The multimedia Center will also function to present the opportunities this
project offers for the participants, as well as the benefits to society as a whole.
Projects will be broken down into Task Groups that will be used as
vehicles for collaborations and pairings between participants and
instructors, and professionals. One Participant of each Task Group will be
elected as manager of that group, and will operate understudy to the
employer/employee relations, and will act as liaisons between management
and project participants. The following mentorships will be created.
Three students will be chosen as participant directors, with the
Executive Director a mentor. These students will gain experience
in setting financial goals, reviewing and interpreting budgets and
financial reports, evaluating financial performance and making
appropriate reports to funders and oversight agencies.
Three selected participants will work in a mentorship capacity with
the accountant, and will assist in the preparation and presentation of
financial reports to the Treasurer.
Understudies to the Executive Director will be selected from the
participants, learning purchasing protocols and documentation, funder
requirements, purchase orders, requests for public bids, monitoring
costs against the budget, and interfacing with accounting.
A Task Group will
be selected to receive training on Web Site design and maintenance,
upload project developments to the site, respond to questions from
inquiries on the Web, and seek out information that may be helpful to
A Task Group will be selected to
receive training on Network Administration and network design and
maintenance, overseeing the implementation of the network system in the
Multimedia Center and all administrative and clerical offices.
Video Production Task Group. All phases
of the Program will be documented. Multnomah Community Television (MCTV)
resources will be utilized for video production training, equipment and
facilities. Instruction will entail the use of broadcast quality video cameras,
editing, graphics and text composition, special effects, and show production.
The Video Production Task Group will be assigned to document the programs
development and the success of the students involved in the project. Shows
produced by the Task Group will be aired bi-monthly monthly on MCTV cable TV.
The Multimedia Task Group will receive training on
Multimedia and Desktop Publishing systems. Participants in this Task group will use the
video media collected from the Video Task Groups, the Photojournalism Group
and other material on the project, to create and maintain a Web site on the
local Intranet and the Internet. Information published will include the mission
and goals of MeriSol Services Inc., frequently updated information on the status
of the project and objectives acheived. Constant updating and improving the
quality of a Web Site maintains audience interest and provides valuable
training for the Participants. This experience provides incentive for participants
to develop creative design, learn multimedia graphics design and production,
promote creative thinking and discussion, and learn valuable skills.
The benefit is increasing access to relevant information to current and
potential donors, and serving as a central bulletin board for the exchange
of information and ideas between participants, members of the Board of Directors,
staff, and the general public.
A Photo-Journalism Task Group will be selected from participants, who will
work under a mentor to photograph the various stages of the projects, and
compose a series of articles documenting the project in it's entirety. Mentors will
assist participants of the Photo Media Task Group in interviews and
photography, using computer graphics and publishing software in the
composition, layout and drafting of the articles which will be
submitted. The Photo Media Task Group will work with the Multimedia
Task Group to incorporate photographs and interviews into the
Corporate Web Site. Task Group members will become involved in marketing and
promotion for this and other media sources.
This program offers communities in
disadvantaged areas a locally controlled nonprofit central information
systems center and a high technology jobs training facility.
Participants will be trained in job skills in each department of the
corporation with the intention of transferring ownership of the
Resource Center to the community. Thus the function of the training
program within the Community Technology Resources Center fulfills the needs
of the community for high technology jobs training while addressing the
need for free community access to high-speed Internet resources and computer
information systems under the guidance of participants in the program.
The goal of this organization will be realized during the final phase
of the program when participants will utilize their training to establish
nonprofit status and Merisol Services transfers the operation of the
Technology Resource Center to the communitiy.