Technology 4 Tomorrow class on AI

Technology for Tomorrow’s Microsoft TechSpark Program Expands Offerings in its Second Year

Source: Technology for Tomorrow

Technology for Tomorrow (T4T), based in Williston, was selected in 2023 by Microsoft for its TechSpark Fellowship, a program that aims to foster inclusive economic opportunity, job creation, and innovation in the state. T4T received a second year of funding after a successful first year of programming that exceeded goals.

“T4T plays a crucial role in bridging the digital divide across Vermont,” said Michelle Schuler, U.S. Program Manager Microsoft TechSpark. “By increasing digital literacy offerings, T4T empowers individuals and communities, ensuring they have the skills needed to thrive in our increasingly digital world.”

In year two of the TechSpark Fellowship, T4T plans to increase its digital literacy offerings to help close the state’s digital divide.

“Digital equity is a must-have for our communities,” said Vijay Desai, T4T executive director. “For T4T, bringing digital literacy to under-resourced populations is a must-do. We want to close the digital divide in Vermont.”

T4T works to bridge the digital divide by empowering individuals and organizations through affordable technology, supporting skills training, and enabling virtual opportunities through various local, state, and national collaboration efforts to help individuals and organizations reach their goals.

“Skilling,” as a verb, means “to make a difference, matter, or avail.” For year two, T4T plans to launch “TechSpark Skilling,” an initiative that makes a difference to individuals, matters to the community, and avails our nonprofit partners.

TechSpark Skilling will offer – free of charge – more than 50 digital literacy classes and workshops, covering AI as well as basic and advanced digital literacy, in the fall and winter in the Burlington and Montpelier areas. The courses will be hybrid with the opportunity to meet in person or attend virtually to ensure access to digital learning.

The Digital Equity Act identifies several populations that require resources and services to overcome the digital divide. These priority populations are people with language barriers; ethnic minority groups; aging people; people who live in rural areas; households earning at or below 150 percent of the poverty line; veterans; incarcerated people; and people with disabilities.

T4T will coordinate with nonprofit partners to identify participants in these priority populations and register them to participate in TechSpark Skilling. During the first year of the TechSpark Fellowship, more than 15 nonprofits, including U.S. Committee for Refugee and Immigrants, Vermont Afghan Alliance, Cathedral Square, HireAbility, CVOEO, CVCOA, and AARP, took part in program offerings.

T4T (tech4tomorrow.org) empowers people in need with technology education, building digital literacy among all people in the community. The organization was founded in 2012.

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