Full Employment Council selected for Google Fiber's new digital inclusion fellowship

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Full Employment Council (FEC) announcement today that the agency has been selected to participate in Google Fiber’s first-ever Digital Inclusion Fellowship will boost efforts to narrow the digital divide in the greater Kansas City area.
Through the Digital Inclusion Fellowship, FEC will collaborate with Google Fiber and the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) to create programs aimed at bridging the digital divide in Kansas City, especially for those in economically disadvantaged and minority communities.  The FEC fellow will work at the agency for one year, building a digital literacy and awareness program from the ground up. The goals for the fellow include working with local leaders to identify digital inclusion needs, conducting community canvassing to reach underrepresented and underserved populations, and developing and implementing new training classes to foster understanding of digital literacy.
Participation in the Digital Inclusion Fellowship enables FEC to expand its ongoing efforts to train area residents in computer technology and provide access to the internet.  FEC makes its computer labs available to job seekers weekdays from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The agency also offers training programs ranging from basic computer skills workshops to the Earn It Learn It program which teaches advanced skills in Information Technology, Engineering and Healthcare IT. 

“Meeting the needs of Kansas City’s underserved and minority communities has always been a priority for the Full Employment Council,” said FEC President and Chief Executive Officer Clyde McQueen. “The Digital Inclusion Fellowship will enable us to expand our ability to raise the level of digital literacy locally and ensure that everyone in the greater Kansas City area has access to the latest technology.” 

“We’re looking for emerging local leaders who are passionate about helping people in their community,” said Andrew Bentley, Google Fiber’s Digital Inclusion Specialist. “Through the Digital Inclusion Fellowship, these leaders will have the chance to work with organizations that are committed to getting more people online. We’re excited about the projects that the FEC and their fellows will lead, and the impact they’ll have on closing the digital divide in Kansas City.”

The FEC pursued the Google Fiber Digital Inclusion Fellowship because the agency recognizes that the web can open doors for people by providing access to jobs, education, social services and more. Currently more than 60 million people across the United States are not connected to the internet. More than a third of that group doesn’t see the internet as relevant to their lives, while another third find the web difficult to use. The FEC is excited about the potential of the Google Fellow to demonstrate the value of the internet and teach local residents the skills they need to use it effectively. 

Anyone interested in becoming a fellow should apply by June 10, 2015 through the NTEN at nten.org/community/dif

Contact: Arleasha Mays
(816) 471-2330, ext. 1233, amays@feckc.org 


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