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Blog Post • July 2, 2022

Meet Hannah Maurice – American Connection Corps Fellow

Project: eKnox

Home to my alma mater, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is a growing city with abundant job opportunities. Although 98% of households have access to broadband service in Knox County, just 51% subscribe to service. For that reason, the chamber has made it one of its top priorities to help adults acquire the digital skills they need to find employment, access community resources and participate in their children’s education.

eKnox 2.0: Digital Opportunity Initiative pilot program tackles several components of the digital divide – access to affordable high- speed internet and devices and attaining digital literacy. The program is modeled after Chattanooga’s “Tech Goes Home” program, but is different in that it’s a self-service model. With all teaching and learning resources at www. knoxvillechamber/eknox, other non-profits, organizations and businesses can start and run their own programs.

While assisting Knox County Schools during the pandemic, the Knoxville Chamber identified a significant deficit in home internet access and parents’ understanding of technology. By addressing the lack of a community digital literacy program, the Chamber is empowering individuals by helping them develop skills to improve their quality of life.

  • Three trusted site partners in low-income communities: Pond Gap Elementary School (a University of Tennessee assisted community school), Knoxville Parks & Recreation (Cecil Webb Recreation Center), and Knox Worx (a Knoxville Leadership Foundation program that prepares individuals without high school diplomas for employment)
  • Up to 50 total participants
  • Eight instructors, trained by Chattanooga “Tech Goes Home” leaders
  • Curriculum designed around key internet tools and needs: Google Apps, Zoom, social media, resume writing, creating a household budget, accessing community resources, and Knox County Schools’ platforms
  • Impact measured by three surveys: pre-class, post-class and 30-days after completion

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