Two U.S. senators and a Cabinet member were in Baltimore May 13, 2011 to unveil a website that provides libraries, community colleges, schools and workforce training centers a variety of resources and tools for teaching computer and Internet skills, that is part of worker training initiative.
U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke unveiled www.DigitalLiteracy.gov at a public computing center at Coppin State University in Baltimore. The website is designed to train users with Internet skills the lawmakers and administrator say workers need to succeed in today’s economy, according to a written statement.
Prior unveiling the website, the senators and Locke toured a computer lab and witnessed first-hand how the people in the community are utilizing this website, which can allow any person to find free training on a range of digital literacy topics, at different skill levels, including searching and applying for jobs online, the statement says.
“In a globalized, 21st century economy, when you don’t have regular access to the high-speed Internet – and the skills to use it – your education, business, and employment opportunities are narrowed,” Locke said. “The tools we are unveiling today will help more Americans gain valuable job skills and augment the Recovery Act investments we are making to expand broadband access and adoption nationwide.”
In partnership with nine federal agencies, the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), created www.DigitalLiteracy.gov to provide librarians, teachers, workforce trainers, and others a central location to share digital literacy content and best practices.
Those groups can, in turn, better reach out to their communities and provide them with the skills employers need. NTIA is also partnering with the American Library Association and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to promote the use of the portal by the nation’s more than 16,600 public libraries where, in 2009, over 30 million job-seekers used computers to search and apply for jobs.
“Technology is the key to jobs in today’s economy, but more people need access to computers and the ability to use them,” Cardin said. “Coppin State University’s community computer center is at the forefront of ensuring that Marylanders have the skills they need to succeed and find jobs. This computer center will help make technology more accessible, and the new website – DigitalLiteracy.gov – will provide people with the computer and Internet skills needed for the digital age.”