A new study conducted by Applied Inference and released by the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) illuminates the growing digital divide exacerbated by the pandemic, particularly impacting non-native English speakers and individuals without access to devices. This research highlights the significant, measurable benefits of community-based digital navigation support, demonstrating how effectively tailored services can bridge the digital divide in marginalized communities.

Key Findings:

Financial and Security Barriers: High costs of devices and services remain a major hurdle, compounded by fears of scams and identity theft, preventing many from accessing necessary technology.

Essential Digital Skills: Echoing the finding from the National Skills Coalition’s “Closing the Digital Skill Divide” that 92% of jobs now demand digital skills, the study found disproportionate need for job-related digital skills among marginalized communities.

Challenges for Non-native Speakers: The data reveals that non-native English speakers face significantly more difficulties, both in accessing technology and utilizing digital tools effectively.

Find more information, full report and press release on the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County website, online here.


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