Bridging the Digital Skills Gap

digital skills

As the United States continues to tackle the digital divide, the challenge involves much more than installing internet service—which is just one component of a holistic and much bigger issue.

More Than Just Access: While giving every American household the opportunity to gain access to the internet is critical, another barrier to broadband adoption often overlooked is the lack of digital skills in the workforce. Because if people don't possess the necessary digital skills to navigate the internet, access alone won’t open doors or unleash the limitless opportunities that broadband can provide.

A Snapshot of the Digital Skills Gap

A recent report by the National Skills Coalition yielded the following findings:

  • One-third of U.S. workers lack opportunities to build digital skills
  • 92% of jobs available today require digital skills
  • 23% of jobs that require even one digital skill can earn an average of 23% more than jobs requiring no digital skills

A Solution to the Problem

Given the increased demand for digital skills, the report stresses that the public and private sectors must work together to equip workers with these skills to help them thrive. This would not only help to correct the structural inequities inherent in society, but also give a big boon to businesses and to the American economy.

The Cable Industry’s Role 

That's why the cable industry has continually targeted efforts to bridge the digital divide over the past decade, not just through its investments in buildouts in unserved communities, but through its programs, partnerships and resources dedicated to teaching digital skills.

  • Charter, Comcast, Cox, GCI, Midco and Mediacom have long partnered with schools, local governments, nonprofits, businesses, foundations, and trusted community organizations to encourage broadband adoption and to offer digital skills trainings and workshops.
  • Comcast launched their Digital Navigators program last year in support of the FCC's Affordable Connectivity Program. The program sends trained individuals out in the field to teach digital skills to unconnected people and to encourage them to sign up for programs like the ACP.
  • Charter announced this month the expansion of Spectrum Community Center Assist. The program supports job training efforts at community centers across Charter’s footprint through providing funding, gigabit internet service, laptops, equipment, and job and digital skills training to help people improve their economic situation.  

As the Biden administration distributes federal funds for broadband deployment and adoption, the cable industry continues to do its part in collaborating with the government, the private sector, and in fostering the public-private partnerships that give unconnected Americans the digital skills necessary to succeed.