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Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives (OMBI) Webinar: Digital Skills and Workforce Development

The NTIA Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives (OMBI) plays an important role in the Internet For All initiative by promoting equitable high-speed Internet access and adoption at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), and in their surrounding anchor communities. OMBI’s guiding vision is to achieve digital equity for minority communities across the United States.
Join the OMBI team to explore how HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs are working to help students build in-demand skills and connect to long-term career pathways. This webinar will be divided into three sections: 
Section 1: Closing the Digital Skills Divide: What Higher Education Leaders Need to Know
Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Senior Fellow, National Skills Coalition (NSC)
New research based on millions of "Help Wanted" ads shows that employers overwhelmingly require technology-related skills, across all industries and most occupations. This briefing will share a peek at this newly-released data with a special focus on issues of concern to HBCUs, HSIs, and other minority-serving institutions. Find out how businesses' need for workers with digital skills differs across demographic factors such as educational level or years of experience. Get practical examples of how digital skills are showing up in industries as diverse as construction, agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, and food processing. Learn about how higher education partners are designing digital upskilling programs (both credit-bearing and noncredit) to help learners build in-demand skills. And discover how improved higher education and workforce development policies can be part of the solution in addressing the impact of historical, structurally racist policies. 

Section 2: Workforce Development:  The future demand for states with BEAD funding
Lucy Moore, Special Policy Advisor, Office of the Assistant Secretary, NTIA
This briefing will provide an update on workforce development initiatives through the IIJA grant programs. 

Section 3: Connecting with CMC Grant Recipients

  • Amber Randolph, Senior Vice Chancellor for Administration and Economic Development, and Chief Financial Officer, Rutgers University; 
  • Marland "MJ" Jenkins, Founder and CEO, TeknoGRID; 
  • Brandon Dismore, Program Coordinator, Economic Development and Training Center, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in Okmulgee, OK

Hear from two of the CMC awardees – Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in Okmulgee, OK, and Rutgers University in Newark, NJ – who are using their funding for workforce development or training programs that lead to good jobs and long-term career pathways.