October 6, 2023
Dora Nuñez, (213) 913-0410
Over 6,000 Middle & High School Students From 100 Schools Attend the County Los Angeles 2nd Annual Tech Empowerment Day Focused on Immersive Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Los Angeles County hosted the 2nd Annual Tech Empowerment Day on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. More than 100 schools from across the County, with 6,000 middle and high school students, participated in this dynamic one-day high-technology Expo, connecting them to educational experiences related to science, technology, engineering, and math.
Beyond interactive technologies, dynamic speakers, and opportunities to win 100 laptops, this Expo offered exciting hands-on experience and exposure that educated and inspired creativity, innovation, and aspirations. Over 35 public and private organizations partnered to host activity stations, demonstration sessions, and information booths. In addition, school educators had the opportunity to network with partner organizations and explore potential collaborations on academic enrichment opportunities.
The event was not only about showcasing advanced technologies and inspiring creativity and innovation, but also about addressing the digital divide that impacts low-income communities and predominantly Black and Latino populations in Los Angeles County. Currently, about 416,000 households in the area lack internet service, and 265,000 households do not have a home computer. To address this issue, the County has launched an initiative called Delete The Divide to promote digital equity in underserved communities through partnerships, infrastructure investments, and technology resources.
“The Board of Supervisors is working hard to open doors for our youth and provide pathways for them that lead to good paying careers such as information technology,” said Los Angeles County Board Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District. “Our children from our low-income communities, and often immigrant families, must have access to these industries because they deserve the opportunity to realize their limitless potential.”
“I’m proud to collaborate with my fellow Board Supervisors to immediately address the digital divide, which disproportionately affects communities impacted by the pandemic and most overlooked accessing resources,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Second District. “We are committed to meeting our youth and their families where they reside, providing them with opportunity and digital exposure for a brighter future.”
Tech Empowerment Day is part of the Delete The Divide initiative that offers a range of programs, including paid internships, professional information technology certificates, free laptops for constituents in need, and digital literacy training, and assistance with enrollments in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program. The program has already distributed over 1,400 laptops and aims to distribute an additional 7,000 laptops over the next several months.
“We commend the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for their unwavering commitment to improving the quality of life for residents impacted by the digital divide, particularly youth in under-resourced neighborhoods,” said Selwyn Hollins, Director of the Los Angeles County Internal Services Department. “Having access to reliable internet and a computer at home is the key to unlocking the doors of education, job opportunities, telehealth, and financial resources – It’s a beacon of hope for many.”
To engage local neighborhoods, the County has deployed Digital Assistants at 40 County Libraries, five senior centers, and a community service site, providing free computer assistance and digital training to constituents in underserved communities. The County has seen a 45% increase in household enrollments through Delete the Divide’s outreach campaigns promoting the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides a discount of up to $30 per month to eligible households. Low-income seniors and people with disabilities can qualify to have their internet subscription costs covered.
Free online, self-paced training courses and multiple technology certifications are available, including professional IT career certificates in the areas of coding, project management, cybersecurity, and data analytics, amongst others.
Delete the Divide programs provide vast opportunities. Currently, the paid Internship Program has 235 participants. Interns are placed with County departments and program partners, gaining professional experience. The program prepares them with the skills and networks they need for a successful career.
Delete the Divide is a powerful initiative that seeks to uplift the lives of communities in the County that have been negatively impacted by the digital divide. To learn more about this initiative, visit www.deletethedivide.org/.
- Event pictures available here.