Federal Funding Brings Computers To Those Who Need Them

Many low-income people still have trouble accessing and using computer technology. So, the federal government, through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), is bringing computer technology to the very people who need it most.

For instance, at the WorkSource Center Satellite in South Los Angeles, the NTIA has funded 25 new computer workstations open to local job-seekers. The South LA facility is part of NTIA's $7.5 million Los Angeles grant being used to upgrade public computer centers in 180 hard-hit neighborhoods. And that, in turn, is drawing on some of the $4 billion Recovery Act funds to expand broadband access and adoption in communities nationwide.

WorkSource is located at the Chicana Service Action Center, where, according to its CEO, they are "preparing job seekers, not for yesterday's jobs, but for the 'green jobs' of the future." The center expects to eventually serve 150,000 people a year. Currently, according to NTIA's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) Director Anthony G. Wilhelm, users "are benefiting from strong partnerships between the city and local employers to place solar installers, energy auditors, lead green technicians and electrical auto technicians into well-paying jobs."

The link between computer literacy and employment is well-established, and low-income populations rely on public computers for job searching. These new computer centers supplement the nation's severely stressed public libraries for the nation's neediest.


Public Computer Centers Helping Los Angeles Job Seekers (US Department of Commerce)