Connected Nation Unveils Digital Works Program

  • Connect Ohio
  • Connected Nation
WASHINGTON, DC – Connected Nation, a technology organization committed to bringing affordable high-speed Internet and broadband-enabled resources to all Americans, is unveiling its new Digital Works program that is helping connect people to twenty-first century workforce opportunities while spurring community revitalization.

Connected Nation and its Connect Ohio subsidiary held the grand opening for the first Digital Works center, located in Zanesville, Ohio at the Muskingum County Business Incubator. The program provides mentoring and training to workers seeking employment and places them in quality teleworking jobs.

Initial communities have been identified for expansion of the program and Connected Nation plans to establish as many as 10 new centers by the end of 2013. New communities are being sought for inclusion in the program, based on available community resources. The Zanesville location has already placed more than 40 percent of the initial trainee class, and expects 100 percent placement by the end of June.

“These technology-based jobs are a perfect solution for rural communities that have struggled with keeping pace in the digital economy,” said Connected Nation President and COO Tom Ferree. “Digital Works is empowering communities to take control of their economic destiny. The e-commerce economy is booming as companies can now rely on technology to provide a regional and culturally adaptable solution for workforce requirements. The same information technology advances that ushered in the era of 'outsourcing' now provide the economic opportunity for ‘rural’ sourcing.”

Creating Jobs by Leveraging Broadband
The Digital Works program creates jobs in areas facing high unemployment by leveraging broadband technology for call center and IT outsourcing. Extended training is available for HTML programming, and other technical positions as well. The program is providing an avenue for communities to create a job incubator, retaining workers in the area and attracting corporate jobs while providing a pathway for improving a worker’s competitive advantage in the twenty-first century workforce with specified coursework and training.

Job Placement Target: 100 Percent

At the end of training, workers are placed in available positions that match their skills and interests. All jobs pay above minimum wage and the training provides opportunities for placement at levels for upward mobility. This is work that can be done from home or at the Digital Works center, which is provided through a partnership with the community. Jobs are readily available for qualified applicants and it is expected that up to 100 percent of trainees will be employed immediately after training is complete.

The Digital Works program aggressively pursues partnerships with telework employers to ensure a robust pipeline of jobs is available. The initial funding for the pilot program is provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.


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