Connecting Californians to Broadband and Digital Careers

Broadband and Digital Careers

California Emerging Technology Fund


Lessons Learned from the Field:  Connecting Californians to Broadband and Digital Careers

The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) and its 19 partners reached millions of Californians between April 2010 and June 2013 in communities most impacted by the Digital Divide, promoting broadband awareness and adoption at home, offering computer training and computing devices, and providing job training for the 21st Century. The purpose of this report is to share major lessons based on solutions to challenges for achieving broadband adoption and Digital Literacy1 in order to maintain a globally competitive workforce and provide educational and economic opportunities for all.

The federal government, through the National Broadband Plan and other initiatives, has made expanding access to broadband a national priority. This document is intended to be a resource for practitioners around the country as they plan new initiatives or seek course corrections to increase broadband adoptions and jobs.

The lessons have been developed through the work of CETF, Broadband Awareness and Adoption (BAA) and Access to Careers in Technology (ACT) partners, as part of two federal grants awarded in 2010 to CETF by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The report was compiled from information shared at quarterly in-person meetings and in interviews conducted by the Glen Price Group.  Through these meetings, the BAA and ACT partners formed Learning Communities2 for each grant, and as a combined group, with the intention of sharing their challenges and the subsequent solutions and Lessons Learned. The major lessons are summarized here and provide the framework for how the report is organized. Both grants had stretch goals yet achieved the intended outcomes. The adoption and job placement results are highlighted in the chart below. The infographics on pages 11 and 12 display all the results. For more information please visit www.cetfund.org.

The Four Major Lessons
  1. Leverage Everyday Activities into Broadband Training and Curricula: How to engage participants with relevant training topics that will help drive new, sustainable home broadband adoptions.
  2. Secure Job Placements in the Growing ICT Field: Strategies that have successfully helped program
  3. participants find jobs in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
  4. Drive Broadband Adoption by Offering Affordable Full Services: Service and resource combinations that are effective at driving (and securing!) adoptions along with affordable broadband and computing devices.
  5. Pursue Sustainable Programs: How to integrate broadband adoption into other activities, such as health, education, financial literacy and community development.
Broadband Awareness and Adoption (BAA)
Outcome Description Goal Achieved % of Goal
Low-income individuals trained in Digital Literacy 678,000  719,255 106%
Homes subscribed to broadband Internet 133,000 198,743 149%


Access to Careers in Technology (ACT)                                                          Results as of 12/31/12
Outcome Description Goal Achieved % of Goal
Individuals placed in jobs 2,558 2,659 104%
Homes subscribed to broadband Internet 9,237 8,194 89%
1 Broadband adoption and Digital Literacy outcomes include home broadband subscription, Digital Literacy certification, job readiness and placement, and broadband awareness.
2Through the BAA and ACT Learning Communities partners were convened in-person and for webinars to share information and experiences, engage in group learning, discuss new ideas, and support each other to overcome programmatic challenges.
Women training on computers