GRANT CYCLE NOW CLOSED
On Sept. 27, 2022, we invited state government entities to apply for funding to develop or expand large-scale digital equity projects that can be deployed quickly. These projects should not be focused on expanding broadband infrastructure. Applicants must be an entity of North Carolina state government, which includes:
- All state government organizations as outlined here;
- University of North Carolina System or individual schools, universities, or centers within the system; and
- N.C. Community College System or individual schools, colleges or centers within the system.
Through this investment, we were seeking partnerships with experts across the state to implement digital equity solutions that positively impact target populations identified in the Digital Equity Act, including low-income households, individuals who primarily reside in a rural area, older Americans/aging residents, incarcerated and/or second chance citizens/reentry/justice involved, veterans, individuals with disabilities, individuals with a language barrier (including individuals who are English learners or whose first language is not English and/or individuals who have low levels of literacy), and individuals who are members of a racial or ethnic minority group.
These strategic partnerships will also help ensure that the statewide digital equity plan that the Office of Digital Equity and Literacy is creating addresses all North Carolina communities and target populations.
First Digital Equity Grant Awards
On Jan. 18, 2023, we awarded $9.9 million to support 8 government entities; each applicant could apply for up to $2 million. All projects submitted must serve a statewide or regional audience (more than one county). Read the press release.
- East Carolina University: Awarded $1,397,102.70 to train community health workers across the 29-county eastern N.C. subregion to provide digital literacy and skills training sessions and partner with libraries to deploy computing devices, hotspots and rugged internet hubs.
- N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services: Awarded $1,128,647.10 to train and support digital navigators to serve the digital needs of older adults in all 100 counties.
- N.C. Department of Adult Correction, Education Services: Awarded $1,399,383.80 to upfit classrooms in prison facilities with computer labs and devices and increase digital literacy among incarcerated individuals enrolled in education services.
- N.C. State University - Institute for Emerging Issues: Awarded $1,236,715.90 to develop and help implement digital inclusion plans across the state to support Gov. Cooper’s goal to increase broadband adoption to 80% across all racial subgroups by 2025.
- N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Rural Health: Awarded $1,600,000 to implement a train-the-trainer digital skills and health language program for rural communities across the state, provide technical and capacity building support for organizations, and increase access to affordable internet in migrant housing.
- N.C. Business Committee for Education, Inc.: Awarded $1,400,000 to expand technology teams to provide free training and paid experience to high school students who can provide technical training for adults and peers and help desk support to their schools and communities.
- N.C. Department of Transportation, Office of Civil Rights: Awarded $1,320,125.31 to provide job-specific digital skills training and devices for individuals enrolled in N.C. Department of Transportation workforce trainings.
- N.C. Division of Historic Sites and Properties: Awarded $468,403.60 to increase the availability and accessibility of online content by hiring a digital inclusion coordinator to develop online offerings that feature various assistive technologies and fund broadband subscription costs for visitors at historic sites and properties.
Technical Assistance and Questions
All questions can be emailed to Maggie Woods, Digital Equity Manager for the Office of Digital Equity and Literacy, at email@example.com.