Duluth Digital Inclusion Initiative and Partnership Summary of Accomplishments January 2021

It’s always nice to share good news and I’m happy to share the following with their permission…

The Duluth Digital Inclusion Partnership represents a collective effort to address the digital divide, which has
become an even more critical issue during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data from the American
Community Survey, approximately 6,000 households in Duluth lack a computer at home, and another 6,000
lack internet access. In May of 2020, the City of Duluth Workforce Development Department and Local
Initiatives Support Corporation Duluth (LISC Duluth) convened a group of stakeholders to address the digital
divide through three main goals:
1. Get devices into the hands of those who need them
2. Improve digital literacy across the community, while training a new IT workforce
3. Expand internet access for all community members
Each partner carries forward a piece of the work through their own programs and resources. Additionally,
new partnerships have been formed to attract resources and amplify impact. As of January 2021, the Duluth
Digital Inclusion Partnership has made the following accomplishments:
• More than 6800 computers distributed to individuals who need
them
• Over 1000 WiFi hotspots provided
• 18 people trained as IT Support Specialists
• Over $1 million raised to support digital inclusion projects,
including:
o Pursuit of neighborhood WiFi in Lincoln Park
o Public computers available through community
organizations
o Devices for families to stay connected with children in
the foster care system
o Devices and digital literacy training for low-income
individuals, older adults, and people with disabilities
o Digital Navigators to be placed with community
organizations
o Funding to assist K-12 students in accessing the internet
o Tutors to assist K-12 students with virtual learning

This entry was posted in Digital Divide, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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