Founded in 2000, Tech Goes Home helps bring computers, Internet, and training to those without so students can do homework, adults can find jobs, and seniors can connect with loved ones.
Digital exclusion perpetuates poverty.
Without the tools, access, and skills to do homework and navigate online job portals, it has become incredibly difficult to succeed in school and to gain employment. For example, 8 out of 10 middle skills jobs require digital skills (Cleveland Foundation), and more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies require online job applications, including major employers such as Walmart and CVS (FCC). Further, 84% of the nation’s K-12 teachers report that digital inequities are growing in their classrooms (Pew). FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has stated that the homework gap is the “cruelest part” of the digital divide facing our country. While smartphones are often cited as a ubiquitous tool that could be the solution, a research paper or job application written on a smartphone pales in comparison to one written on a computer. Poor quality access engenders a lower quality product, leading to an ever-widening opportunity gap.
TGH has addressed these digital inequities by providing free digital skills training, discounted new computers, and help securing home Internet access. We serve people from the ages of 3 to 93, prioritizing those without technology, the un/underemployed, immigrants, and people with disabilities. More than 80% of TGH graduates have household incomes under $35,000, and more than 30% of adult participants are unemployed. Of the population TGH serves, nearly 90% are people of color and more than 45% are English learners.
Today TGH serves over 5,000 participants each year with only six full-time employees. Our lean model minimizes costs while creating an opportunity for participants to genuinely engage with the schools and community organizations that run TGH. TGH’s goal is to deliver high quality digital literacy training while amplifying our community partners’ critical work tackling chronic unemployment, education, and health. With the help of 300+ partner schools and community sites, TGH has served 30,000+ people and distributed 20,000+ new computers. In 2019, our goal is to graduate 5,500 people, deepen our support for our partner sites and trainers, and ensure the program continues to grow in scope and size.
TGH is focused on tackling the entrenched barriers to technology adoption and Internet access in Boston and across the US. Our school, community, small business, and early childhood initiatives provide an impactful and cost-effective model to help families and participants gain access to the skills, hardware, and Internet access needed for 21st century success.
TGH continues to enhance its impact for participants. Perhaps said best by one of our parents who shared, “It is due to your program that my life and career have been elevated...thank you for your amazing program. It has changed my life.”