Column: Goodwill helps bridge community’s digital divide

SAN ANTONIO — In today’s digital age, the ability to navigate our world through technology is more important than ever. Digital literacy is vital to communicate, find employment, and to stay informed of the world around us. Because of this, Goodwill San Antonio has remained dedicated to bridging the digital divide in our communities by offering a free Digital Literacy Program through our Good Careers Center located at our Fredericksburg Road location.

Developing digital literacy skills better equips individuals to succeed in today’s workforce. As part of our commitment to providing no-cost, meaningful career training and education to the community, our Digital Literacy Program enables individuals to gain or enhance their computer skills. When participants complete our program, they feel empowered and equipped to use technology for everyday life and are better qualified to reach their career goals.

Goodwill’s Digital Literacy Program follows the NorthStar Digital Literacy Curriculum. The program is comprised of three modules: “Essential Computer Skills”, which provides participants internet and email basics, “Essential Software Skills”, a module that teaches participants how to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and lastly, “Using Technology in Daily Life,” an all-encompassing course that informs participants on the use of social media, online safety, and career searching skills. The training is self-paced and tailored to meet individual needs. Because we understand that flexibility is important to today’s students, participants have the option to complete it online or in-person.

Though there is still much to accomplish, we are proud of all the GOOD work we have been doing in the digital literacy space. For instance, in 2022, more than 250 individuals participated in our digital literacy course. And just last month, our program was recognized during the National Digital Inclusion Alliance Conference held in San Antonio. Members of our team were invited to speak on a panel during the event, and our program was featured as part of a city-wide tour of organizations engaging in local digital inclusion work.

It is through our collective focus and commitment that we are able to provide services and resources to assist individuals in overcoming barriers that prevent them from securing a meaningful career. When people donate or shop at a nearby Goodwill store, they help community members achieve an opportunity towards upward mobility through stable employment, skill development, job training, and other life-changing opportunities… even in a digital world.

Carlos J. Contreras III is President & CEO at Goodwill San Antonio.

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