Digital Empowerment in Dayton: Closing the Tech Divide for Underrepresented Communities
By Nate Dillard
The Digital Divide in Dayton: Internet skills and access are essential for modern life, including job searching, education, and staying connected. However, in Dayton, many people, especially minorities, low-income individuals, and elderly residents, face a significant digital divide due to lack of internet access or digital literacy, according to this Brookings report.
Older Workers' Tech Learning Drive: Two-thirds of older workers in Dayton, particularly among minorities, are keen to learn new skills, yet only a quarter have had technology training in the past two years. Initiatives like AARP's partnership with Older Adults Technology Services and local senior centers' digital literacy classes are key steps toward addressing this gap.
Youth and Access Challenges: Younger populations in Dayton often have the skills but lack access to adequate devices or internet service. This is critical, as even entry-level jobs require online applications. About 20% of Dayton households have no broadband service, and there’s a significant disparity in home broadband access among Black and Hispanic communities compared to their White and Asian counterparts.
Federal and Local Initiatives: The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 and initiatives like AT&T's digital literacy workshop at the Omega CDC Hope Center are aiming to bridge this divide. These programs provide internet service subsidies and training opportunities to Dayton residents.
The Community Angle: For Dayton's BIPOC and underrepresented communities, these efforts are crucial. They provide not just the tools, but also the knowledge to navigate the digital world, opening doors to new opportunities and ensuring more equitable participation in the modern economy. As these initiatives expand, they promise to transform the digital landscape in Dayton, making it more inclusive and accessible for all.
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