NDIA, Microsoft & National Skills Coalition Partner to Track Digital Skills
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) launched its State Digital Equity Scorecard today, providing a score and best practices for state digital inclusion efforts.
In today’s economy, more workers must need at least fundamental digital skills to be employed. The interactive map gives insight into state efforts and the link between unemployment, digital skills, and economic opportunities. One major finding is that 6.9 million of today’s 9.8 million job openings require digital skills. Fortunately, more states are implementing initiatives to close the gap.
The State Digital Equity Scorecard is designed as a valuable resource for policymakers, workforce systems, advocates, and practitioners. The map and Scorecard will be regularly reevaluated and updated to provide states with resources to measure, review, and replicate successful efforts.
Created in partnership with Microsoft and National Skills Coalition, the Scorecard assess states based on six criteria:
- Data on digital skill needs
- Comprehensive plan to address digital skill gaps
- Online digital skills training
- Incumbent worker training funds
- Technology apprenticeships
- Digital equity in state broadband plans
“More and more states are strengthening their efforts in addressing digital inequities,” said Angela Siefer, executive director of NDIA. “The Scorecard visually defines the differences between the states while providing a resource which we haven’t had until now – best practices and state-by-state resources. The more ways we have for communities to share models, the more efficiently we’ll work toward digital inclusion together.”
“Digital transformation is accelerating across all industries and generating tech-enabled jobs. These jobs will open opportunities for many, and we need to ensure that those without access to digital skills have an equal shot at these opportunities,” said Naria Santa Lucia, general manager of digital inclusion and U.S. community engagement at Microsoft Philanthropies. “To guide where private and public sectors actors can work together, it is vital to have a common understanding of state policies that address digital equity. The State Digital Equity Scorecard provides this picture and the work that still needs to be done.”
“Workers need investments in their digital skills – in foundational digital skills and in those that equip them to upskill and succeed in a changing industry,” said Katie Spiker, managing director of government affairs at National Skills Coalition. “For the millions of workers who lost their job during the crisis, digital skills will be critical to reskilling and moving to a new industry. At the same time, businesses face rapidly evolving technological needs. Policy that supports workers’ access to digital literacy and digital upskilling and reskilling, and supports businesses’ capacity to prepare their workforce for jobs of the 21st century, are critical to achieving an inclusive economic recovery and in achieving digital equity.”