Digital Literacy Initiative from Dept. of Labor and FCC
On July 16, the Arlington Employment Center hosted Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for the kickoff of a new federal program called Connect2Compete.
Coming later this year, Connect2Compete will offer affordable high speed internet and low-cost computers to qualifying participants. It will also provide digital literacy training in communities nationwide, through a partnership with Best Buy’s Geek Squad and America’s public libraries.
Speakers also included the Honorable Susan H. Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Hildreth explained the natural partnership between American Libraries and Connect2Compete, saying:
“… America’s libraries are engines of transformation. They are community hubs where people get online to find work, get an education, connect to government services and much more… A recent study found that 77 million people got online at a library in one year and 30 million of them used library computer for workforce needs.
…We believe that the 21st century librarian is an expert information navigator and also an expert community navigator. Today’s libraries are community anchors contributing to a strong workforce, energized educators and lifelong learners. We support digital resources, training programs, and outreach to people who experience all kinds of barriers to accessing information. We believe in a democratic society where communities and individuals can thrive because they can have great access to information.”
View our flickr set of photos from the event.