Digital Divide refers to the disparities in finances, education and social status faced by those without access and exposure to technology whether it be access to a computer, access to the internet or exposure to all the job possibilities associated with software development.
Yes, we teach people disenfranchised from technology "how to" skills such as programming, Quality Assurance, Project Management, Designing, basic computer operations, and more. We offer a "Skills to Pay Bills" program at Technology Learning Centers (TLC) with an aim to close the gap before further advancements in technology widen it further.
The Digital Divide affects U.S. domestic unemployment through technology skills gaps that hurt U.S. global competitiveness, and there’s no way we can turn a blind eye to it if we truly believe in a strongly connected nation.
The obstacle is by no means insuperable when fragmented into specific tasks that must be accomplished. So let’s help spread the benefits of technological change throughout the country!
With an ingrained social entrepreneurial mindset and a strong belief in ‘Capitalism with a conscience’ philosophy, we aim to become a Certified B Corporation soon. As a company, we are conscious of the decisions we make and their impact on society. We sincerely believe that creating a real social impact is our collective responsibility, and extends beyond working with the public sector or merely having a corporate responsibility practice.
At Agnos, every day while we work, we focus equally on making a meaningful business and social impact with our clients, employees, suppliers, partners and local communities and we constantly strive to make the United States a better place.
Skills to Pay Bills
We are fully committed to the cause of bridging the digital divide. In our program, Skills to Pay Bills, we teach "how to" skills to people without exposure to technology to help them learn, earn and grow. The program includes teaching an array of skills from basic computer operations to surfing the internet, paying bills online to more advanced skills such as programming, Quality Assurance, Project Management, Design, etc. We want to make the disenfranchised tech-savvy and confident.
Let's dive deep into what Agnos is doing for different sections of the society.
We understand that access to digital technology is important; however, offering the right kind of training to use this technology to bring people to the mainstream is equally significant. Some 46% of blacks and 48% Hispanics say training to help them become more confident in using computers; smartphones and the internet will help them immensely in making important decisions. So, how do we at Agnos contribute to filling in the gaps?
We leverage technology to build a bridge across the Digital Divide through access (IT Community Centers), education, and training. We deploy intern resources from different ethnicities and backgrounds on the technology projects so they can obtain “in the trenches” skills to pay their bills while being surrounded by Top Gun technologists who can mentor them in their professional development.
Being a technology company, Agnos also believes in expanding IT skills training to enhance opportunities for injured veterans returning home. We are soon getting into a partnership with Wounded Warriors Project to help American military veterans gain digital skills required for in-demand technology industry careers. We want to offer them the right training, career counseling, and information about the opportunities in the technology field.
The data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics depicts that in 2015 only 17.5 percent of persons with a disability (PWDs) were employed, and this compares to 65 percent for those without a disability. Besides, Americans with disabilities are about three times as likely as those without a disability to say they never go online (23% vs. 8%), according to a Pew Research Center Survey, and they are also less confident in their abilities to use the internet and other communication devices to keep up with the latest information. At Agnos, we partner with the disabled to help them become digitally capable to access and use the latest technology to grow and learn. We teach them digital skills for the modern workplace.
Can we ignore the gender gap that exists in our society? Not at all! The data compiled by virtual event solutions company, Evia, shows that women make up less than 20 percent of U.S. tech jobs, even though they make up more than half of the U.S. workforce and the overall percentage of the female population using the internet is 91 percent. Agnos partners with NGOs such as Girls Who Code to train women on the necessary computing skills to pursue the digital era opportunities, reflecting our commitment to support and increase the number of women in computer science. We are equal opportunity employers, both in letter and spirit, and we select employees based on their merit without any credence to age, gender, race or ethnicity.
We are committed to training seniors and the elderly to help them learn the digital era job skills, and where possible, to even contribute on LIVE projects. We are associated with AARP - a United States-based interest group with a mission "to empower people to choose how they live as they age".
We admire how computer training and access to the technology offered by Bill Gates & Melinda Foundation are empowering seniors in Houston.
Although the share of new entrepreneurs who are from minority groups is now 45%, a considerable increase since 2007 when 33.6 % of new businesses were started by non-whites according to the 2017 National Report on Early Stage Entrepreneurship; the low-income and minority groups are still less likely to take those kinds of risks, as they lack a safety net. The entire start-up world is low on diversity when we consider the factors like — who can get the finances, who can raise the money, and who will pay if the start-up fails? These factors build on each other and hamper start-up initiatives.
At Agnos, we can help minorities and low-income groups with strategic advice, digital training and access to networks. We are also into a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) and have top gun resources with extensive experience and lessons learned in nurturing a start-up firm from thought to going public.
Our people are bound by a civic obligation not to turn a blind eye to the societal challenges we all currently face. We share a set of values that emphasize laser focus on maintaining a culture of support and caring for fellow employees but also to extend that care beyond our place of work to our local communities. At Agnos, we care as much about making a buck as making a difference. So let’s together pledge to continuously make efforts to eliminate this gap, and make this society a better place to live.