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Workforce Board Awards Digital Literacy Grant

by Kristin Coulter | May 21, 2018

For Immediate Release

May 21, 2018

Workforce board awards digital literacy grants

 

The State Workforce Development Board (SWDB) awarded $225,070 in grants to three organizations for the development of programs to improve digital literacy in jobseekers and to help close the digital skills gap.

A recent study by the Pew Research Center indicated that roughly 1 in 10 adults said they would have difficulty finding programs and services online, contacting potential employers via email, filling out a job application online, finding available jobs online, and using computers to create a resume. And the Colorado State Library reported that people who used the internet to search for work reduced an individual’s average time unemployed by 25 percent.

“We are excited about the work these three organizations across our state will do to help close the digital skills gap and help put provide people with new job opportunities,” said Pat Michaels, the board’s Governance Committee chairman.

“While South Carolina’s businesses are hiring and have put a record number of people to work across the state, we have more work to do to prepare those unemployed for today’s workforce. These grants will do help develop programs to improve the computer literacy skills for those in need so they can participate in today’s changing workplace,” said Cheryl Stanton, executive director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce and a SWDB board member.

The programs receiving funding are:

Epworth Children’s Home – Columbia - $100,000: Epworth Children’s Home will use the grant to serve foster youth by providing digital literacy skills development that leads to job skills and credentials. IT-oLogy will develop and deliver two programs for Epworth’s initiative: a series of workshops for their high school and older students that focuses on basic digital and technology competencies, and a program of certification courses that will be available to selected Epworth students to prepare them for the job market. Epworth will also integrate soft skills training through their program by including a formal career services program for their youth.

Greenville County Schools Lifelong Learning – Greenville - $25,070: Lifelong Learning will use the grant to incorporate a digital literacy program as a prerequisite for the Job Readiness classes currently offered at Greenville’s SC Vocational Rehabilitation office. Participants will take an assessment prior to the Job Readiness Course to determine the need for digital literacy skills instruction prior to enrollment. The class will be held the first week of every month to give students multiple opportunities to fit it into their busy schedules. The program will also incorporate soft skills training in professionalism, interviewing techniques, and appearance and presentation.

Medical University of South Carolina – Project Rex - $100,000: Project Rex will use the grant to develop an innovative approach to building digital literacy skills and job readiness training through the Autism News NetWORK, an online, news media style series of videos that participants will produce, featuring interviews of fellow participants discussing their experiences living with autism. These videos will be available online to the public to promote awareness about autism. The project involves close collaboration between the Autism News NetWORK, the South Carolina Autism Society, and the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department. The curriculum goes beyond basic computer skills and incorporates a higher skill level by focusing on digital media production; additionally, by producing the videos, participants are developing soft skills through interviewing and teamwork.

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About DEW

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) is putting South Carolinians to work. The agency invests in building a pipeline of quality workers, matches workers with jobs, and is a bridge for individuals who find themselves out of work for no fault of their own. This promotes financial stability and economic prosperity for employers, individuals and communities. DEW is dedicated to advancing South Carolina through services that meet the needs of the state’s businesses, jobseekers and those looking to advance their careers.




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