Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a new digital literacy program in the state of New York, aimed at helping job seekers acquire the necessary computer skills to secure employment in the 21st century. The program, developed in partnership with Northstar Digital Literacy, will assess job seekers’ computer proficiency and provide them with the knowledge needed in areas that businesses are seeking. A survey conducted by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) in 2022 revealed that basic computer use and computer literacy were common skills lacking among job applicants and new employees, along with issues related to email proficiency and Excel skills.
With the workplace evolving rapidly due to technological advancements, it has become crucial for workers to understand and utilize digital tools and platforms. The digital literacy program aims to address this need, enabling New York workers to enhance their careers and contribute to the success of businesses.
Governor Hochul expressed her optimism about the initiative, highlighting its transformative potential for the workforce development efforts in the state. The program will provide all New Yorkers with access to the necessary tools to build a better future for themselves and their families.
Commissioner Roberta Reardon of the NYSDOL emphasized the importance of aligning the skills of New Yorkers with the needs of businesses. The partnership with Northstar Digital Literacy will enable the state’s workforce to acquire the computer competence required to keep up with the rapid changes in the digital global market.
The program offered by Northstar consists of online self-guided assessments, which grant participants certificates or digital badges upon successful completion. It also recommends self-directed online learning and offers lesson plans to help individuals improve their proficiency. The program will be facilitated through the NYSDOL’s 95 local Career Centers.
The NYSDOL survey identified several technical skills that businesses were seeking, including software proficiency in Excel and Word, email proficiency, data analysis, and typing. The Northstar digital program will assist workers in assessing their proficiency levels and acquiring these skills, ensuring that New Yorkers are well-prepared for the workforce and that businesses find employees with the necessary skills.
This partnership aligns with the NYSDOL’s commitment to supporting New Yorkers in their job search and workplace success. The department offers various career development services online and in-person, including access to over 4,000 programs through Coursera and daily virtual workshops on topics such as transferable skills and LinkedIn. The NYSDOL’s Career Centers provide classes, workshops, job fairs, recruitment events, job clubs, and informational sessions. Individuals seeking assistance with resumes, networking, or interviewing are encouraged to visit the NYSDOL’s Career Development webpage or contact their local Career Center.
New Yorkers interested in participating in the no-cost digital program offered by Northstar should contact their local NYSDOL Career Center. Northstar is already being utilized by nearly 3,000 Adult Basic Education programs, colleges, nonprofits, workforce centers, government agencies, and businesses.