The Department of Labor said that its almost 2,800 American
Job Centers will start providing digital literacy outreach as part of the
FCC/Obama Administration/broadband industry Connect2Compete initiative.
That came in an announcement Monday at an employment center
in Arlington, Va.
FCC chairman Julius Genachowski joined Labor Secretary Hilda
Solis and others to unveil that new effort, as well as an early 2014 public
service campaign through the Ad Council, which puts together pro bono creative
with donated ad space and time from TV and radio stations.
The campaign will promote a new database and training
locator tool to help identify computing centers and training, which will be
released this fall.
As part of Monday's announcement, Connect2Compete released preliminary
results from its San Diego pilot program offering $9.95-per-month standalone
broadband and $150 laptops to households with school kids eligible for school
lunch programs, where more families bought the service from Cox -- the
participating cable provider -- during the two-month test than had been
projected, according to the FCC.
"We've made some progress closing our adoption and
digital skills gaps. The adoption gap between whites and African
Americans has been nearly cut in half since 2009," said Genachowski in
announcing the addition of the Labor job centers to the adoption effort, but
added: "We need to continue closing the broadband adoption gap to make
sure that every American can enjoy the economic and social benefits of
high-speed Internet. That's what Connect2Compete is all about."