Digital Equity: A condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy.
Digital Literacy: The ability and knowledge needed to access and operate internet-connected devices, to successfully use commonly available software, and to navigate and utilize online resources in order to effectively communicate and complete social and work-related tasks in a virtual space.
Cassandra - Digital Literacy Learner
I was furloughed in March. I came in uncertain – things were changing with the pandemic. Northstar gave me more of a focus. It gave me something to look forward to. A motivator. I like that I have the flexibility of doing it at home. It’s less stressful. I recently applied for a manager position. After the interview, I got the pre-employment package and a $100 bonus to refer someone! I am glad this program is here. The staff were so helpful. I can testify – it made me more comfortable with my computer skills. Such a good feeling!
Ramsey County TechPak Program
In 2020, Ramsey County partnered with Literacy Minnesota, Tech Dump/Tech Discounts, Saint Paul Public Libraries and other community organizations to provide computers, internet and digital literacy training to more than 500 residents impacted by COVID-19. Digital Literacy Navigators from Literacy Minnesota supported each participant by facilitating computer pick-up, digital literacy assessments and learning using Northstar, and information technology (IT) support. They also referred participants to classes, job searches and workforce training. For every $1 spent on the TechPak initiative, there was a social return on investment of $2.40 generated through improved earnings, well-being and cost savings.