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Morino Institute From Access to Outcomes: Digital Divide Report and Dialogue
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Promoting Economic Development




Feb 4, 2001


Bob Templin

Moving Beyond IT Training:
Within the Digital Divide discussion of applying technology to enhance economic opportunity, skills training for a widening spectrum of Information Technology (IT) jobs should be viewed as a primary starting point. This dialogue should expand to also include other applications of technology. In particular, there is a need to apply technology to create efficient and effective training and education opportunities in low-income communities. In this effort, applying technology can:


  • Create access to training and education opportunities to deliver occupational training on demand to community technology centers, CBOs, businesses, and homes. Such training can and should incorporated into a broad spectrum of jobs, most of which are probably not high tech, but are significantly in demand throughout the economy, starting with jobs such as, receptionists, cashiers, and food service workers, and progressing through higher skilled occupations and supervisory positions.
  • Integrate technology skill training into educational programs for non-technical occupations being affected by technology such as bank tellers, home health aides, childcare workers, nursing assistants, and security personnel.
  • Deliver basic education and information reasoning skill development through existing Adult Basic Education and GED programs.
  • Connect with mainstream educational institutions such as community colleges and universities where training curricula, career counseling and job placement services can be invisibly integrated across organizational boundaries and lead to progressively advanced educational opportunities.
  • Create, coordinate, & integrate work/learning experiences such as internships, cooperative education and apprenticeships to provide workers not only classroom learning but also workplace training, employment experience and possible income opportunities.
  • Provide continuing education opportunities following initial employment placement.
Questions: Do any of you know of specific examples where technology has been used successfully to bring effective job training or education into low income communities? Any ideas about how successful programs can link up with established providers like school-based adult education programs or with community colleges or universities?

Coming next: Using technology to assist business development and invert the resource and support infrastructure

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