NC’s Electric Cooperatives, CoBank Fund Digital Inclusion
Grants support the launch of a new statewide digital literacy training program
In August, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives and CoBank, a national cooperative bank, partnered to contribute $20,000 in grants to support the launch of a new statewide digital literacy training program at the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at North Carolina State University.
The funds will support four digital inclusion planning workshops, hosted by IEI’s Building a New Digital Economy in North Carolina (BAND-NC) program. They will create a cohort of North Carolina counties working to build local capacity and share and implement digital inclusion priorities statewide.
“We’re proud to partner with BAND-NC to introduce programming that will increase digital literacy across rural North Carolina, enabling residents with critical new skills to navigate activities such as online learning, telemedicine and employment applications,” said Lark James, senior vice president and CFO of North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “We’re grateful to IEI for its focus on this important issue, and for CoBank’s continued generosity in supporting impactful initiatives that contribute to a brighter future for cooperative members and our state.”
As North Carolina works to address the digital divide and bridge the broadband gap, BAND-NC provided mini-grants to communities that want to implement digital inclusion plans or have immediate digital needs.
“This investment from the North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives and CoBank helps us take on one of the biggest challenges remaining as we seek to make broadband available in every home: helping those who haven’t had broadband take full advantage of it,” said Leslie Boney, director of IEI. “We need to help those who don’t see the value of broadband or don’t know how to use it to get the skills and capacity they need to succeed, whether it is to download homework, work or look for work from home, or get healthcare.”