Cradle to Career Outlines Goals for Tri-county Digital Equity & Inclusion Initiative

Tri-County Cradle to Career has released their goals as part of their Digital Equity & Inclusion Initiative, the effort to close the digital divide for more than 38,000 households* in Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley Counties.

Digital Inclusion is defined as the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to, and use of, information and communication technologies. The goal of the Digital Equity & Inclusion Initiative is to increase the adoption of technology for all families living in rural, metro, and suburban areas to thrive.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Tri-county Cradle to Career (TCCC) and the Community Leaders Council discovered the prevalence of the inequities related to digital technology. As part of their focus on closing the gaps in access and use of technology, TCCC and partners will help facilitate donations of computer hardware, access to broadband, digital literacy training, and community-based service navigation.

In Charleston County alone, 16,000 households** are disconnected from essential aspects of life such as education, mental health and healthcare services, employment, skills development and social connections.

TCCC’s vision is that all children are embraced by our community and supported to reach their full potential in school and in life, cradle to career. One key aspect of this work is ensuring families have access to the internet and know how to use it. These efforts wouldn’t be possible without the support of key stakeholders including Charleston Promise Neighborhood and Palmetto Care Connections.

Short-Term Goals of the Tri-county Digital Equity & Inclusion Initiative:

• Increase the number of students with access to online learning opportunities in summer months via online classes offered in neighborhood community centers or schools

• Increase the number of unemployed and underemployed individuals to access and adopt virtual work from home employment opportunities

• Increase the number of individuals or households that have sufficient internet-enabled devices to sustain productive learning, wage earning, and health and wellness

• Increase the number of Low to Moderate Income (LMI) individuals who complete financial literacy training through online learning portals

• Increase the number of LMI households who receive access to essential services and benefits needed to stabilize and mitigate economic crisis

• Increase the number of unbanked and underbanked individuals who adopt online retail financial services and products to increase financial asset accumulation

• Increase the number of individuals who file 2023 taxes using E-filing services

* 2019 ACS 5-year data, 2015-19; pre-Pandemic
** Charleston-North Charleston public use microsample area (or PUMA).