First Look at Innovative Project Launch

Chelsea Reed
Office of Adult Education

Six KEYSPOT Centers Focus on Digital Literacy, Workforce Readiness and Civic Partnership

As a network of 50 public-access computer centers across Philadelphia, KEYSPOT serves over 84,302 visitors annually at our open-access computer centers. Many walk-in clients lack the basic skills necessary to apply for jobs, access Facebook, or even use an email service.
Research shows that digital literacy training is a critical strategy in helping people to incorporate and use technology in their daily lives.
To address this need, KEYSPOT awarded six non-profit organizations with a grant in 2016.  
The project, which started in October, 2016, focuses on developing high quality trainings in digital literacy and workforce readiness, while also building partnerships with City agencies to enhance civic engagement.
During a successful first quarter, over 200 KEYSPOT visitors received trainings, mentoring, and civic partnership opportunities at the awarded sites. One of the administrators at a grantee organization described the process of integrating job readiness preparation with computer skills in their workshops:
"The workforce workshop has really come into its own since it first started. Now, it is a two-day workshop, which includes the first day being resume centered while the second day focuses on the safe sites to look for jobs, how to complete an online-application, and how to upload their documents into those applications... We are very excited to see the program attracting more clients and think that it will only continue to grow."
Many of the grantees pursued partnerships with Pennsylvania CareerLink® to assist KEYSPOT patrons with creating resumes and create Job Gateway accounts to search for jobs. In the winter, two organizations also partnered with the City's Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation to gain feedback on the design, accessibility and feel of the new website for the City of Philadelphia, ODDT used feedback from the participants to ensure the layout of the website was user friendly for Philadelphians with all levels of digital literacy.
Although the grantees make up a small fraction of KEYSPOT Network, their sites saw nearly one-third of the Network's visitors during the last quarter: 

The grantees have also accounted for a high percentage of KEYSPOT training hours over the past two years:

As this project progresses, we expect to see these numbers to continue to grow. The participating organizations will serve as leaders for digital literacy training throughout KEYSPOT and the City of Philadelphia.