Baltimore, Dallas, Louisville, Syracuse, and Wichita have been awarded grants to improve digital access and digital skills to help workers advance in good jobs.
Washington, D.C. – (January 13, 2021) – Today, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions announced that five communities in its network will each receive $130,000 in grants to equip workers with the digital access, literacy, and skills they need to secure and grow in economy-boosting jobs in a rapidly changing labor market.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many employers to shift their work online. Workers with digital skills, literacy, and access are at a significant advantage to maintain employment in this environment.
“The pandemic brought into stark reality how deep the digital divide is in this country,” said Janell Thomas, director of worker success at the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. “So many jobs are going virtual, leaving a lot of workers behind – especially workers of color. So it’s essential that workers and jobseekers are not only developing their skills, but that they have access to digital technologies and reliable internet service.”
Each local partner will design plans to provide in-demand digital skills and help community residents get back to work in good quality jobs.
Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative will partner with the Baltimore Digital Equity Coalition to provide digital skills and literacy training to unemployed and underemployed residents and distribute technology to participants as needed.
Pathways to Work, in Dallas, will collaborate with the State Fair of Texas to help displaced workers build professional online profiles and skills and connect them to job coaching with a goal of placing workers in good jobs locally.
WIRED65, in Louisville, will build a coalition of community partners and government institutions to assess and address digital skills and literacy gaps among jobseekers as well as supply them with equipment, including in-home internet service, as needed.
Work Train, in Syracuse, will provide upskilling and job coaching to frontline workers in occupations where new technology skills would lead to advancement opportunities.
Preparation for Advanced Career Employment System, in Wichita, will help underrepresented populations and those impacted by COVID-19 to gain digital skills and marketable digital certifications necessary to attain quality jobs.
This work is supported by a 20-month investment from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.
About National Fund for Workforce Solutions
The National Fund for Workforce Solutions invests in a dynamic national network taking a demand-driven, evidence-based approach to workforce development. At the local level, the National Fund’s partner organizations contribute resources, test ideas, collect data, and improve public policies and business practices that help all workers succeed and employers have the talent they need to compete. Learn more at www.NationalFund.org.