Maine Digital Inclusion Initiative

National Digital Equity Center
Axiom Education and Training Center

Contact 
Deborah Johnson, Director
Maine Office of Community Development
207-624-9817
[email protected]

The National Digital Equity Center, a program of the Axiom Education & Training Center, a 501c3 non-profit, is committed is to closing the Digital Divide in Maine.

The National Digital Equity Center’s “Maine Digital Inclusion Initiative” provides digital literacy to adult learners to improve employability and job-seeking skills, as well as increasing the ability to “age-in-place” by offering classes on how to use technology tools that will help them remain in their homes for as long as possible. The classes are free and available statewide.

In addition to providing digital literacy/computer skills classes statewide, the National Digital Equity Center advocates for Digital Inclusion -Affordable Broadband, Affordable Equipment, Digital Literacy/Computer Skills Classes and Public Computer Access.

We are requesting funding from the State of Maine Office of Community Development to provide 265 scholarships for low-to-moderate individuals to participate in the Maine Digital Inclusion Initiative. The scholarship funding will expand the program for approximately 30 individuals who are low-to-moderate income and cannot currently afford the monthly fee for the use of the tablet and provide the scholarships to 235newindividualsthat will receive a tablet with an internet connection to participate in digital literacy classes.

The tablets will be offered to low-to-moderate individuals that do not have broadband access or cannot afford a broadband connection, or do not have and cannot afford equipment to access the internet. We are especially concerned about the individuals and families that do not have a broadband subscription or equipment and cannot participate in remote work, remote learning, and/or tele-health visits, as well as being socially isolated and unable to connect to family and friends due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible individuals will be assigned a personal instructor to help learn how to use the tablet. Their instructor will work with the eligible individual to learn new digital literacy/computer skills for workforce development training, as well as help the individual connect to family and friends and/or healthcare provider(s). The recipient will receive as much one-on-one tutoring as needed and may take as many digital literacy classes as the wish. All classes and tutoring is free (See NDEC Online Webinar Classes document attached).

Funding from the State of Maine Office of Community Development will pay for scholarships for 30 low-to-moderate that currently have tablets and cannot afford the monthly fee. Additionally, the scholarships will pay for 235 new income-eligible individuals that will receive a tablet, internet connectivity, and digital literacy training.

Funding will pay for the following:

  • 30 current low-to-moderate individuals that will continue receiving a tablet with internet connectivity and digital literacy training: $420.00 per individual.
  • 165 new low-to-moderate individuals that will receive a tablet with internet connectivity and digital literacy training: $797.45 per individual.

Total Estimated Project Cost:

 

$1,248,945

Funding Source

Amount

US Dept. of Commerce EDA

$516,100

John T. Gorman Foundation

$150,000

Maine Community Foundation

$50,000

Betterment Fund

$30,000

Machias Savings Bank

$5,000

Northern Border Regional Commission

$14,932

University of Maine In-Kind

$23,671

Maine State Library & 230 local libraries

$109,620

National Digital Equity Center Cash Match

$149,622

Maine Office of Community Development

$200,000

  

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