Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Free Computer Distribution at Minneapolis CareerForce Location

DEED, Hennepin County and PCs for People seek to break down digital barriers and connect job seekers to opportunities

 

November 13, 2020

Minneapolis – Hennepin County residents who need computers to search or apply for jobs received free laptops today at the CareerForce location on West Broadway in Minneapolis, thanks to Hennepin County and PCs for People. A total of 200 laptops were distributed. The distribution is part of broader efforts to break down digital barriers faced by many Minnesotans during the COVID-19 crisis.

"We recognize that not having access to a computer or the internet makes getting a job during the pandemic very difficult," said Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Deputy Commissioner Hamse Warfa. "That's why DEED and our partners in CareerForce are focused on addressing the digital divide that keeps many Minnesotans looking for work now from connecting with the employers who need them."

"Hennepin County is leveraging CARES Act funding to help county residents who need a computer to look for work, help children with distance learning and help seniors and others access health care and other services remotely during the pandemic," said Chela Guzmán-Wiegert, Hennepin County's Acting Director of Education Support Services. "COVID-19 has taught us that digital access is not a luxury. It is an absolute necessity, especially for communities that have experienced the highest levels of job loss. Digital access is critically important to build access and equity in employment, education and health."  

"It's our mission to provide individuals and families with the life-changing benefits of owning their own computer," said Mary Lucic, Community Outreach & Fundraising Manager for PCs for People. "The new laptops come with a year of free technical support from PCs for People."

Today's event, sponsored by Hennepin County and PCs for people, used federal CARES Act funding to address computer and internet access barriers that make it harder for people to find jobs, continue learning or maintain their health. For more information about Hennepin County's efforts to eliminate the digital divide see Connecting Hennepin at https://www.hennepin.us/tech.

CareerForce staff and partners helped run the event, which was held in the parking lot outside the CareerForce location at 800 West Broadway in Minneapolis. Due to the pandemic, CareerForce locations are not offering in-person services but all of their services are available over the phone by calling 651-259-7501 and online at CareerForceMN.com.

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow us on Twitter.

 

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