WASHINGTON – The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies today hailed the launch of DigitalLiteracy.gov, the U.S. Commerce Department’s online digital literacy portal, as an important step toward helping more Americans gain not only computer and Internet skills but also critical access to the job market.
"For those who do not have a digitally literate individual in their household to help them get online, DigitalLiteracy.gov has the potential to assist many first time broadband adopters in becoming part of the digital ecosystem," says Ralph B. Everett, President and CEO of the Joint Center.
"As a case in point, the majority of job openings are now found exclusively online, and are no longer available in print editions of local newspapers and gazettes. Being digitally literate is no longer a privilege, it is an absolute necessity for success in the modern world,” he said.
The Joint Center Media and Technology Institute has done extensive research on broadband adoption and its correlation with digital literacy. In the Institute’s research report National Minority Broadband Adoption: Comparative Trends in Adoption, Acceptance and Use, it found that 27% of new Internet users reported their children, grandchildren or other younger relatives played the biggest role in teaching them how to use the Internet.
In the same study, the Joint Center found that a higher percentage of African Americans (78 percent) and Hispanics (64 percent) use the Internet to look online for information about jobs as compared to 48 percent of white Internet users.
“With the job market at stake, it becomes more important for everyone to be digitally literate and active users of technology, and clearly many people of color are picking up on this,” says Nicol Turner-Lee, Ph.D., Vice President of the Joint Center Media and Technology Institute.
The new government web site, DigitalLiteracy.gov, was created by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in partnership with other federal agencies including the Department of Education, the Federal Communications Commission and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. The site is a hub for digital literacy training and also assists users with information on resume writing, finding a job, and tutorials on word processing.
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is one of the nation’s leading research and public policy institutions and the only one whose work focuses primarily on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color.