Great news from Washington, DC. Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski and Housing & Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan have announced that HUD is adding its support to Connect2Compete.
Connect2Compete is, of course, the coalition of libraries, non-profits, and for-profits that are working together to improve digital access and literacy among our nation’s neediest citizens.
It’s not just tepid support that HUD is providing, either. HUD and C2C have already begun a digital literacy training pilot program at HUD sites in Macon, Georgia, Cook County, Illinois, and San Diego, California.
HUD seems like a perfect partner for the Connect2Compete program. The federal department already works with 4.5 million needy families from coast to coast.
HUD people will work to raise awareness of the C2C program and encourage low-income families to register for inexpensive high-speed internet and refurbished laptop computers.
This isn’t the first time C2C has teamed up with the federal government. The FCC unveiled a very similar partnership with the Department of Labor in mid 2012.
This is a critical moment for the Connect2Compete program and its new partners. One-third of American homes still have no access to the internet. And high-speed digital access is becoming more important to success in school and employment.
According to the FCC, “Within the next decade, it’s estimated that nearly 80 percent of jobs will require digital skills. Already, more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies, from Walmart and Target to Best Buy, require online job applications.”
CheapInternet.com predicts that HUD won’t be the last government agency to support Connect2Compete. A program this important deserves the full attention of every government agency. It’s vital to the future of our people and our nation.