Knowledge. Skills. Education. Work. Finances. Shopping. It’s more true now than ever before: the world has gone digital.
Unfortunately, that means inequality has gone digital, too.
The “Digital Divide” separates those who are able to benefit from information and communications technologies… and those who are at a disadvantage due to a lack of access. In the United States, the digital divide is “one of America’s leading economic and civil rights issues,” according to a 1999 NTIA report.
The Hudson Valley is no different. New Yorkers who lack internet access (predominantly lower income individuals of color) aren’t able to search for jobs, attend classes, make payments, or take part in our culture and economy to their fullest potential.
And the Covid-19 pandemic has only made their situation worse.
At OpenHub Project, we are working to help address the digital divide in our communities by making educational opportunities available for new tech users to learn essential digital skills.
This year, we launched a new program in Poughkeepsie: OPEN REBOOT! A talented group of Poughkeepsie youth spent five weeks refurbishing computers and studying digital space. Guided by their OpenHub mentors, they engaged with dynamic, hands-on learning experiences twice a week. They are able to refurbish and upgrade donated computers to take them home.
The program was a great success, but we would not have been able to do it without the help of our valued community partners. With the deepest gratitude, we wish to thank the following organizations for making OPEN REBOOT possible:
- Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board, for providing instructional space and storage of class resources.
- One Stop Dutchess County, participant recruitment, youth engagement and evaluation.
- Workforce Development Institute, for funding and overall support.
- Dutchess County government, for the donation of 10 computers to refurbish.
This is just the beginning for the OPEN REBOOT program, and that’s just one small part of the work we do. But, as always, we are grateful to be a part of a community so rich with talent, dedication, and potential.
Together, we can close the digital divide in the Hudson Valley! To learn more about who we are and what we do, click here to join us for a meetup!