May 5, 2022 - News

Tackling Latinos' digital divide

The world as an app with a money sign update icon

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Hispanic Federation and Comcast NBCUniversal have partnered to help community organizations in 20 cities, including Philadelphia, battle the digital divide that sets Latinos behind in the workforce, Axios Latino reports.

Why it matters: Hispanics are significantly less digitally literate than white Americans, meaning they are less likely to know how to use a computer or have internet access.

  • Latinos make up 14% of the overall workforce but represent 35% of workers with no digital skills, according to the organizations.

Of note: Adults who reported no computer use, who were unwilling to take an assessment on a computer or failed a basic computer test were considered not digitally literate by a U.S. Department of Education report from 2018.

  • That report found the rate of Hispanics who are not digitally literate to be three times that of white people.

Driving the news: The organizations announced this week $635,000 in grants for 20 community nonprofits that will provide training.

  • In Philadelphia, Aspira PA and Esperanza US are receiving grants.
  • They also announced the launch of the Latino Digital Center of Excellence, a bilingual center that can be used by all workforce development agencies to teach people digital skills.

What they're saying: "We believe everyone should be able to participate in today's increasingly digital economy," said Diana Caba, assistant vice president for policy and community engagement at the Hispanic Federation.

  • "We're so used to hearing all the 'economy of tomorrow,' the 'workforce of tomorrow,' but it really is today," she added.

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