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RECAP: Digital Literacy & Devices Task Force Convening | Nov. 2, 2021

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Digital Literacy & Devices Task Force Objective

Assessing needs and opportunities to provide ongoing culturally relevant and age-appropriate training at scale for underserved communities. Determining types of equipment (standards, device types, ownership model) needed to provide adequate telehealth, remote work, online learning, and small business internet success.



Summary

The Digital Literacy Task Force held its sixth meeting on Nov. 2, 2021, and included representatives from multiple sectors interested in resolving the digital divide in the Los Angeles County region. Taskforce members discussed the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors board motion that instructed the Director of Internal Services, in consultation with the Chief Executive Officer and County Counsel, to present viable options for the County to facilitate residential access to reliable broadband service in low-income communities where greater than 20% of the households lack internet service. The Internal Services Department outlined three actions to close the digital divide in the report submitted for Board approval:

  1. Provide a subsidy to rate plans – like the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

  2. Deployment of the community network → 50 distribution sites

  3. County-owned fiber network within a two-year time frame to be managed by another provider

Additionally, California Public Utilities Commission has another rule-making process for the last mile infrastructure. $2 billion was allocated for the last mile versus $3.2 billion for the middle mile.



Discussion


The task force had a group activity to develop the task force goals and objectives. The following are the two goals and objectives discussed:


Goal #1: Greater access for digital skills training to meet demand


Objectives:

  • Understand how individuals learn about available programming – design-centered thinking

  • User-friendly, centralized repository of training opportunities

  • Leveraging City, Municipal and County Departments to disseminate information about training opportunities (central repository)

  • It was shared that most municipalities are under-resourced and challenged due to income loss due to the health pandemic. The suggestion was to consider county departments and workforce investment boards since they might be better aligned to objectives instead.

Goal #2: High-Quality Digital Skills Training


Objectives:

  • Understand how individuals leverage digital skills training – designed center thinking

  • This may include a survey from individuals that complete the program to share how they will use the acquired training.

  • Champion culturally, age, linguistically appropriate curriculum, materials, training

  • Survey program completers if the outreach and training components were cultural, age, and linguistically accessible

  • Support workforce development for a greater demand in digital skills training

  • Measurements: Economic development KPIs, Internships, Externships, apprenticeships, jobs applied/offers received, unemployment, level of employment, Certifications – Industry; skill acquisition, enrollment in programs/percentage of enrollment; focus on disciplines



The Digital Literacy & Devices Task Force meets virtually monthly and includes education, health, nonprofit, education, business, city municipalities, and internet service providers. To learn more, visit: ladeal.org/events.


Meeting #7 is scheduled for Dec. 7, 2021.





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