While the broadband adoption gap between blacks and whites is narrowing, more than one-third of African American households do not have access to broadband service. Increasingly, the key to jobs, and upward mobility, economic development and entrepreneurship opportunities lies in digital literacy and access to broadband.
A technologically competent workforce, digital literacy and the importance of STEM education and engagement by young people are critical to economic development in a broadband economy. Indeed, the number of jobs requiring technology skills is expected to grow as much as 75% in the next decade.
Significant gaps in broadband adoption continue to exist and African Americans are underrepresented in employment and business ownership in sectors that depend on broadband connectivity. From enabling communication between parents and educators, to promoting B2B activities to creating job opportunities, technology and access to broadband have become necessities in today’s high-tech society.
Through its participation in stakeholder coalitions, on federal diversity committees and other civil rights groups, the Washington Bureau works to identify solutions sector-by-sector to fit the needs of local communities and businesses and to ensure that urban communities are able to fully participate in the innovation economy.