Western Blue Opens Mini-Blue Student Laptop Store in Fresno, CA

Sacramento, CA (November, 2009) Western Blue, Northern and Central California’s most experienced desktop to datacenter IT integrator, is pleased to announce the opening of Mini-Blue, The Student Laptop Store, a cooperative program of Fresno Unified School District (FUSD), Western Blue and HP.

Today, November 19th, marks the official ribbon-cutting ceremony by The Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce of the Mini-Blue store before tomorrow’s grand opening. The unique education-enabling program provides a consumer environment where FUSD employees, students and their families can come to interact with, purchase, and receive service for district-approved HP Mini-Note personal computers. Western Blue is also working to provide additional discounts to students who qualify for the Federal Government’s free lunch and other assistance programs at their schools.

Dave Getchell, Director of Business Development for Western Blue’s Central Valley Region stated “Some parents are going to look at this and say ‘what a great way to get my kid off my home computer’, while others will say ‘now my child is going to have the first computer in our family.’”

Unlike a typical retail outlet, the Mini-Blue store is a club. FUSD employees and students simply need their Employee or Student IDs (family members also included) to sign-up. The Club Blue card will allow them to receive the same low prices that FUSD gets when purchasing HP computer equipment. In addition, the Mini-Blue program is a non-profit supporter and will solicit $1 from each customer for the FUSD Educational Scholarship Fund.

The Mini-Blue store came about through the cooperative efforts of FUSD, Western Blue & HP. Formerly, FUSD had purchased 10,000 older generation 2133 Mini-Note PCs from HP, but realized that was still not enough to accommodate the large amount of students who had nominal access to a computer, both at school and at home.

FUSD’s Chief Technology Officer, Kurt Madden said “HP began designing Netbooks a year ago with the school district’s needs specifically in mind. The price to provide each student with a laptop is definitely prohibitive to the district.” Furthermore, he stated, “We believe that if a child is going to survive these days, they have to have the digital learning skills. There are a lot of students out there that have 1-to-1 programs, but for us, with 75,000 students, that’s a $20- to $40-million-dollar price tag to provide that.”

The Mini-Blue store is located at 2225 W. Shaw Ave in the Piccadilly Square Shopping Center in Fresno, CA.

About Western Blue
Western Blue is the most experienced desktop to data center IT integrator, headquartered in Northern California, since 1983. They have helped countless public, private and nonprofit organizations implement technology solutions that speed and simplify their operations. Western Blue begins by determining each organization’s unique needs and challenges, then designs and delivers integrated systems that align with its customer’s business processes. Western Blue’s technology expertise allows the company to integrate the best software, hardware and services into a hybrid solution that increases productivity while reducing expenses.