More than 700 people, from age 2 to 82, have completed courses through Tech Goes Home Chattanooga this year. Participants and the public are invited to a graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, at The Edney Innovation Center.
Like all cities, Chattanooga faces a major digital divide, with many Chattanoogans lacking technical literacy and internet access at home.
The program Tech Goes Home teaches important tech skills, and it connects people with laptops or tablets and affordable home internet. The model in Chattanooga has been internationally recognized by scholars and media, and it has impacted thousands of lives in Chattanooga.
“I was able to connect with my daughter and some of her school teachers through learning something that is such a big part of her world and future,” said Laura Skelton, who attended an Early Childhood course with her young daughter.
This was a momentous year for the program, as it surpassed 3,000 graduates and piloted two new courses. Those programs — Small Business and Work Ready — will be added to the roster of offerings for 2019. Additionally, there will be a new program that serves people with disabilities in the coming year, and an expanded program for Early Childhood learning.
Sammy Lowdermilk, Tech Goes Home program manager, said, "After hitting our 3-year mark and over 3,000 graduates, we've been able to continually expand the program with new partnerships across Chattanooga and Hamilton County, especially those who serve very specific constituencies, families with Pre-K students, our disabled community, and even entrepreneurs.”