Giving Compass' Take:

· As our society becomes increasingly more reliant on technology, workers are finding it difficult to match their ambition with education of the digital world. 

· How can we improve access to workforce training for employees? Why is this so important?

· Check out this workforce development guide for donors

As a single parent who worked full-time as a teacher’s aide, Tamea Bishop was determined to improve her economic prospects by pursuing postsecondary education. Because of her busy work schedule and child care needs, it was hard for Tamea to find classes she could attend. Online learning seemed to be her best bet, but she didn’t own a computer and lacked some basic computer skills.

But Tamea was fortunate. Through her employer in Richmond, California she learned of a new college program designed specifically to support working adults. Tamea received a free laptop and co-working space, accessed basic digital training, and was paired with a personal success coach. And thanks to a tuition subsidy from her employer and a Pell Grant from the federal government, Tamea was able to enroll without paying anything out of pocket.

Tamea’s story is all too familiar: Individuals with the ambition and potential to succeed in our increasingly digital economy are held back by an education and training infrastructure that wasn’t designed or built with the unique needs of adult learners in mind– particularly those with low levels of digital fluency.

That’s why more than 20 organizations have united to form Digital US, a national coalition of employers, educators, workforce development professionals, policymakers, and philanthropists partnering to ensure that all of us have the foundational digital skills needed to thrive in work and life by 2030. The coalition will transform interest in supporting digital skills into a movement to create an ecosystem that enables continuous digital learning and upskilling.

Over the last five years, headlines have featured threats from looming digital challenges, including automation, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.

Read the full article about foundational digital skills by Jaime S. Fall and Alison Ascher Webber at The Aspen Institute.