Banking, business and community leaders will gather to learn innovative approaches to address the skills gap, access to technology and support programs throughout the community.

“The digital divide is an important issue impacting communities large and small. Digital access is required to obtain an education, secure and sustain employment, access financial services and more,” said Jeremy Hegle, senior community development advisor at the KC Fed. “This event will enable peers to collaborate on effective strategies already in place throughout their communities.” 

Hegle says that even with a low unemployment rate, there is still a large number of unfilled jobs requiring fundamental digital skills that a large sector of the population continues to lack. “This is the tip of a much larger socio-economic iceberg,” added Hegle.

The half-day forum will feature Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. Siefer will explain how digital equity is necessary for all individuals to actively participate in society, employment and the economy.

The forum agenda is below. The event begins at 12:30 p.m., Central.

• Keynote: Angela Siefer, National Digital Inclusion Alliance
• Computer Access Panel: Tom Esselman, Connecting for Good and Bob Akers,
  e-Stewards Digital Equity
• Fundamental Digital Skills: Carrie Coogan, Kansas City Public Library and Marge Sendze,
  Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
• Digital Skills Workforce Training: Ryan Weber, KC Tech Council, Neelima Parasker,
  SnapIT Solutions, and Keith Lawing, Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, Inc.

As the regional headquarters of the nation’s central bank, the Kansas City Fed and its branch offices in Denver, Oklahoma City and Omaha serve the seven states of the Tenth District: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.