Partners Will Promote Broadband Adoption and Collaborate on Public Policy Initiatives to Close the Digital Divide in California
San Francisco, CA and Washington, D.C., April 29, 2013 – Connect2Compete (C2C), California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) and Youth Policy Institute (YPI) today announced a new partnership to increase broadband adoption and Digital Literacy training in California by strategically leveraging public and private resources. CETF estimates that 3 million people in California do not currently have broadband access at home. Internet access is critical for underserved Californians to access employment and education opportunities that will enable them to succeed.
President Barack Obama and the Federal Communications Commission declared in the National Broadband Plan that it is essential to connect every part of America to the digital age. While significant progress has been made in California in recent years, CETF estimates more than 880,000 households lack broadband.
Connect2Compete is a national non-profit actively working with broadband providers to secure discounted high-speed Internet offers and low-cost computers to harness the power of technology. CETF is a private California non-profit foundation working to achieve 80% broadband adoption at home and fund Digital Literacy training to empower communities and transform lives. YPI is a California-based non-profit that operates 80 computer centers in Los Angeles and provides Digital Literacy training in schools, community centers and public housing centers. More than 20,000 clients use YPI computer centers every week, and YPI programs reach more than 100,000 clients annually.
In March, the three partners announced discounted high-speed Internet service and low-cost computers in conjunction with the launch of “EveryoneOn,” a nationwide public awareness campaign to connect Americans to Digital Literacy training in their communities and online.
“The Digital Divide is solvable, but no one organization can do it alone. It takes local partners who have built trust and personal relationships within the community to help make the value of being online real for people,” said Zach Leverenz, CEO of Connect2Compete. “CETF and YPI are established leaders on this issue in California, and Connect2Compete is exited to work with them to increase critical Digital Literacy skills training across the state and to put computers with high-speed Internet service directly into homes – making it easier for those who need it most to gain access education, jobs, healthcare, and civic engagement opportunities.”
Since 2008, adoption of broadband at home in California has increased from 55%, which was the same as the national average, to 73%, now 7 percentage points ahead of the nation. Even more encouraging are increases among households earning $40,000 or less, Latino families and people with disabilities, though these groups still lag behind the state average.
“Today’s announcement recognizes the importance and value of engaging partners who are actively working to inform public policy and leverage more resources to close the Digital Divide in California and the nation,” said CETF President and CEO Sunne Wright McPeak. “Together, we intend to advance federal and state policy solutions and encourage broadband providers to work with us to ensure that all Californians have the necessary skills and affordable tools to get connected and succeed.”
“In Los Angeles, we want to reach 750,000 people who do not have broadband at home,” said YPI Executive Director Dixon Slingerland. “YPI is excited about this partnership, which will allow us to expand our reach within Los Angeles.”
Connect2Compete is a national non-profit organization bringing together leaders from communities, the private sector, and leading foundations. Through its programs and the power of technology, Connect2Compete will improve the lives of Americans – regardless of their age, race, geography, income, or education level. Connect2Compete will help Americans access technology through Digital Literacy training, discounted high-speed Internet, and low-cost computers. For more information, please visit www.Connect2Compete.org.
About California Emerging Technology Fund
The mission of CETF is to close the Digital Divide in California by breaking down barriers to high-speed Internet access at home. The goal is to reach 98% of all residences with broadband infrastructure and to achieve 80% home adoption by 2017. This statewide goal can only be accomplished if the following specific hard-to-reach target communities achieve at least a 70% adoption rate: low-income populations, Latino households, rural communities, and people with disabilities. For more information, please visit www.cetfund.org.
About Youth Policy Institute
YPI transforms Los Angeles neighborhoods by ensuring access to high quality schools and wrap-around education and family services, enabling a successful transition from cradle-to-college-and-career. YPI serves families through 125 program sites that offer place-based education and training services via afterschool programs, charter, pilot, and partnership schools, job training, summer youth jobs, physical education, adult education, technology, case management, parenting, tutoring, and college preparation. YPI is the lead agency for Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood, a $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for cradle-to-college-and-career services. For more information, please visit www.ypiusa.org.
Mary Anne Ostrom, CETF Director of Communications
Cell: 510-381-3070 firstname.lastname@example.org
Marie Condron, representing Youth Policy Institute
Cell: 213-925-9605 email@example.com