Digital Inclusion Coalition Expands with New Platform
The last two years have proven the significance of digital inclusion to accessing opportunity and economic prosperity. Our nation is experiencing unprecedented investment, including the Affordable Connectivity Program through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – a $14.2 billion piece of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs act, and the biggest investment in broadband this country has ever seen. The Greater Sacramento region is well poised to garner and maximize investments in digital inclusion due in no small part to the dedicated contributions of the steering committee, working groups, and members of the Sacramento Coalition for Digital Inclusion (Coalition).
This effort started in the fall of 2018, inspired by a Brookings Institution report on the strengths and weaknesses of the Sacramento Capital region, and culminated in the formation of the Coalition. Over the years, the work of the Coalition has brought together partnerships, thought leaders, and collaborative investment to address the digital inclusion needs of our region especially during the heightened needs of the pandemic.
A Year of Impact
In the last year, the Coalition has hosted eight full Coalition meetings and over 25 working group meetings in three key areas; Broadband Access & Adoption, Hardware Devices, and Digital Literacy/Digital Skills to build a framework and key strategies including:
- Renaming, redesigning and taking over management of the Coalition website to provide easy access to resources and information
- Operationalizing a digital inclusion portal to provide easy access to free resources for community members and the organizations supporting them
New Name & Expanded Region
The Coalition recently changed its name to the Capital Region Coalition for Digital Inclusion, reflecting an expanded service area and regional approach to creating more opportunities for digital equity. This name change represents the expansion to serve a 9 county region supported by investment from the Capital Region’s four workforce boards, SMUD, AT & T and Union Bank, and magnifies opportunities to address both rural and urban digital equity barriers, and convene organizations from across the region to better inform, connect, and partner to promote community success.
New Digital Inclusion Portal Serving Nine Counties
Valley Vision is pleased to partner with mohuman, a non-profit connecting low-income communities with digital resources, to create the Capital Region Digital Inclusion Portal. Through this partnership, a streamlined platform has been created for the Capital Region, allowing community members and those serving them to easily search for resources – including free and low cost computers, internet services, digital skill building tools and training. Among other resources, the Digital Inclusion Portal connects individuals with training on Microsoft Office and Google Suite, as well as career search skills and more! The platform also allows organizations with digital inclusion resources to add their information to the Portal (after a review process) and claim their listings to provide additional description and detail.
Nishal Mohan, Founder of mohuman, describes the work of the Coalition and the impact of the Portal: “The Capital Region and their digital inclusion coalition have been doing a fantastic job of regional coordination to serve digitally un and underserved individuals and families. Now with a personalized and easy to use portal, all of their free or low-cost digital inclusion services and resources are available to the public in an easy to use, accessible, expandable, and sustainable platform so that more people can move towards equity faster, more effectively, and at scale. Congratulations to Valley Vision and partners on bringing a powerful tool with the people for the people of the Capital Region!”
The Coalition’s goal is for the Portal to serve as a centralized source for community members and organizations to find and upload resources for computing devices, internet connectivity, and digital skill building. We need your assistance to create an expansive and thorough network of listings and are calling digital inclusion advocates to aid us in the following ways:
- Share the portal with community members and organizations to utilize for easy access to digital resources
- Add listings through the portal or email email@example.com with information on digital inclusion organizations, programs, or online services that need to be included
- If you work at or manage an organization that provides digital inclusion resources, claim your listing, and make it your own!
With your help and assistance, we will continue the momentum to improve digital inclusion for our Capital Region’s current and future digital citizens. To keep up with Valley Vision’s work to advance a future-ready workforce in the Sacramento region, subscribe to our 21st Century Workforce email newsletter!
Caitlin Blockus is a Valley Vision Project Manager supporting initiatives within the 21st Century Workforce impact area.