Digital Inclusion RFP: Request for Proposals to Co-Design and Develop Digital Innovation CentersLeave a Comment
Neighborhood Allies seeks to establish four (4) digital inclusion centers in Pittsburgh over the next year. We are soliciting proposals from qualified organizations with natural ties to social service and an interest in creating innovation center(s) to facilitate opportunities for STEM Education, digital literacy and workforce development programming. We seek to work with all ages—from youth to adult—by bridging digital divides in the most under-served communities with the development of these centers.
In the next decade, 7 out of 10 new jobs will require baseline computer skills. In Allegheny County, at least 5,000 of the high priority jobs slated to open annually require computer skills (Partner4Work). Yet, many in our most under-resourced communities are ill-equipped to achieve these opportunities: 45% of students living below the poverty line are set back in school because they cannot finish their homework without a computer or have to complete it on a cell phone (Pew Research).
Further, while the internet has fast become the primary resource for finding jobs, a notable minority are not positioned to compete due to lack of access to the digital skills and resources necessary to thrive. For example, low-income workers are more likely to have to complete job applications over a smartphone, where they run into a range of problems like content that does not load properly or difficulty attaching supporting documents (“Searching for Work in the Digital Era”). In the face of exacerbating income inequality, we resolve that nobody will be left behind as the workforce adapts to a digital future.
Over the course of the next year, we seek to invest between $250,000-$400,000 in the creation of each center (including remodeling/rehabbing existing spaces, operating expenses, technology and software), as well as provide in-kind programmatic support and internationally-recognized digital skills certification programs over the years to follow.
We seek an established, brick-and-mortar organization with approximately 2,000 square feet of available space, that has a demonstrated commitment to poverty reduction, workforce development, STEM education and/or digital literacy in their target neighborhood(s). An ideal partner will utilize the co-created Center to leverage existing community networks and assets to integrate, operate, and elevate their work. It is our hope that each Center will organically mix baseline programming with the individual character and needs of each corresponding community. This RFP process presents an opportunity for you to submit your organization’s credentials for review. Interested parties should submit a proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org with the requirements outlined in the full RFP by Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 5 p.m.