HUD New Jersey Senior Management Analyst Carleton Lewis participated in Jersey City Housing AuthorityÔÇÖs (JCHA) Second ConnectHome Digital Inclusion Convening, an ongoing initiative that teaches residents how to use technology for education, workforce development, or to simply, enrich their lives.
As part of the ConnectHome commitment to bridge the digital divide, JCHA partners with organizations to promote access to technology, high-speed internet, and digital literacy trainings.
Digital Inclusion is about more than just access to computers. Digital Inclusion provides opportunities for seniors and wheelchair bound residents to video chat with relatives in a distant county; job seekers to search for the career of their dreams and have the digital skills that 80% of employers require; and students the tools to close the achievement gap in an era where ┬ż of teachers assign homework that requires the use of the internet.
Over 50 JCHA residents and ConnectHome stakeholders participated in group activities, breakout sessions, and attended presentations that provided public computers or digital skills programs, to leverage the power of connectivity and digital resources.
Facilitators included: JCHA Executive Director Vivian Brady-Phillips; HUD ConnectHome Program Manager Dina Lehmann-Kim; and JCHA LEE Public Policy Fellow Michael Strom. T-Mobile, PCs for People, Electronic Access Foundation, and HHS are National; the Boys & Girls Club Hudson County, AngelaCares, Women Rising, Rising Tide Capital, NPower, Hudson County Community College, Jersey City Youth Council, Jersey Art Exchange, and New Jersey City University all came together to provide guidance and services. State Assemblywoman Angela McKnight was also present.
ConnectHome creates a platform for community leaders, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and private industry to join together and produce locally-tailored solutions for building strong digital inclusion programs. ConnectHome was designed to address the three-legged stool of digital inclusion: affordable connectivity, training, and low-cost devices. Find more information on ConnectHome here.