As the United States celebrates National Digital Inclusion week (October 4-8, 2021), the STEM Education Coalition Policy Forum is pleased to invite you to a briefing on October 7 at 11:00 am EST for policymakers to learn more about the daily obstacles that communities across the country face in accessing and navigating the Internet. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that it is nearly impossible to fully participate in society or compete for the best, most in demand jobs without adequate digital skills. The United States needs to reach digital equity: a state in which every individual, regardless of zip code or income level, has the digital skills and tools to use the Internet to fully participate in our society, economy and democracy.
One major component of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs act is the Digital Equity Act, which would provide $2.75 billion in funding which will largely be allocated to States through grants to support the development of Digital Equity Plans, which will include:
• The identification of the barriers to digital equity faced by covered populations within the State;
• Measurable objectives for documenting and promoting access to broadband technology, digital literacy and consumer devices;
• An assessment of how objectives will impact and interact with the State’s economic, social and educational outcomes; and
• A description of how the State plans to collaborate with key stakeholders in the State.
• Portia Wu, Managing Director, US Policy, Microsoft
• Katie Spiker, Managing Director of Government Affairs, National Skills Coalition
• Dr. Dominique Harrison, Director of Technology Policy, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
• Amy Huffman, Policy Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance
• James Brown, Executive Director, STEM Education Coalition (Moderator)