Many of our members experience the skills gap on a daily basis. When you’re looking to grow, expand, or hire, you may struggle to find the right talent with the appropriate skills for your open positions. It’s a challenge the NC Chamber is constantly thinking about and working on, but today, I’m pleased to share one way you & your business could tackle the skills gap: by helping us close the homework gap.
The homework gap refers to the stark divide in achievement between students with access to internet and those without. According to our friends at E2D, while 70% of teachers give homework assignments that require access to broadband internet, 1 out of 3 students don’t have digital access at home or after school. 42% of teachers reported that their students lack sufficient digital access outside the classroom. Here in North Carolina, some estimates show that 10-20% of students don’t have internet access outside of school. Without this access, students could fall behind on homework, accomplish less than their peers, and eventually leave school without the confidence and skills they need to succeed in the modern workplace.
Fortunately, E2D has a plan, and you can help.
E2D is a nonprofit that refurbishes laptops and donates them to economically disadvantaged students. Since August 2013, they’ve distributed 5,200 laptops across North Carolina. The first 54 laptops delivered in 2013 completely eliminated the “homework gap” at Davidson Elementary. At high schools in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system, 402 homeless students received an E2D computer, helping them keep up with their peers and overcome at least one major challenge to their academic success.
Now E2D is asking businesses for help. While individual donations of laptops are deeply appreciated, groups of the same laptop can be easier to process and turn around for students. If your business has groups of laptops you’re no longer using, I’d encourage you to consider donating them to E2D. You can find more information by visiting their website or by contacting Stephanie Shryock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Governmental Affairs
North Carolina Chamber > A force for business