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CTEP AmeriCorps Member

Community Technology Empowerment Project
No listings recruiting at this time

Members teach technology literacy skills to program participants as they relate to obtaining employment and improving civic and social opportunities. Some positions emphasize serving youth while others emphasize serving adults. Sites may have programs serving both youth and adults. CTEP members serve in community technology centers which are located within nonprofit organizations, public housing facilities, and libraries. They teach specific skills under the Northstar Digital Literacy Standards, such as Microsoft Office and Email, and teach workforce readiness classes geared towards English language learners using interactive software.

Service Activities

Essential Functions:
• Provide intentional and meaningful instruction to improve technology literacy skills in participants, specifically focusing on the Northstar Digital Literacy Standards and employment skills. Other skills may include online research, typing, media programming including media literacy training, website and game design, newsletter production, digital video, and blogs
• Provide quarterly reporting on data such as how many participants made progress on North Star Digital Literacy Standards or how many participants received employment
• Complete three capacity building projects at your site such as curriculum development, establishing outside partnerships, or expanding programming
• Design and participate in a 75 hour group civic engagement activity with fellow CTEP members to make a unique contribution to closing the Digital Divide
• Attend bi-weekly Corps day trainings provided by CTEP

Community Need Addressed

Technology literacy is critical to securing employment, communicating with others, and obtaining information in the 21st Century. More than 80% of Fortune 500 companies, including Walmart and Target, accept only online job applications -- even for entry level or minimum wage service, sales, stock and cashier jobs (Connect to Compete, 2012). Jobs requiring technology skills have grown at 2½ times the rate of growth for other positions, at 4.7% versus 1.9% (Burning Glass Technologies, 2015). Even lower-skilled jobs in retail and manufacturing now require the use of technology skills to operate iPads for checkout and barcode scanners for stocking. Most public and private agencies have moved basic functions online from testing for high school equivalency to filing for social security benefits. Tech skills and Internet access have become so ubiquitous that they have become integrated into the fabric of everyday life.

However, many adults lack the technology literacy skills to use computers and the Internet for their civic, social, and economic advancement. A survey of 16- to 65-year olds in 24 industrialized countries showed that roughly one-third of adults in the US were unable to perform basic problem-solving tasks using technology skills (OECD, 2013). CEOs of US companies consistently rank applicants’ lack of computer skills as one of the top four reasons why jobs are difficult to fill (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 2013). And while 64% of all Americans own a smart phone and thus can access the Internet (Pew Research, 2015), this is no guarantee of their ability to use the Internet for employment, communication, or information. Just 43% of smart phone owners surveyed by Pew used their device to look up employment information, and only 18% used it to submit a job application. It should be noted that this ability is of much greater importance to phone owners with lower-incomes, who rely on their smart phones for Internet access more than those of higher-income.

In the Twin Cities, low-income adults and racial minorities also have less confidence in their technology skills than adults overall. The 2014 City of Minneapolis Community Technology Survey found that only 51% of adults felt very comfortable searching or applying for jobs online. Comfort levels were lower for African-Americans (41%), Hispanics (41%), and those with Limited English Proficiency or LEP (37%) than they were for Whites (54%). Similarly, while 55% of Minneapolis adults felt very comfortable creating documents and spreadsheets, comfort levels were lower for African-Americans (47%), Hispanics (51%), and LEP individuals (38%) than they were for Whites (58%).

Position Outcomes

Across the program, we will assist 1500 people to become certified in basic computer skills and 600 will obtain jobs. At the same time, members will strengthen the capacity of at least 26 community agencies by mobilizing 675 volunteers who will provide 5,700 hours of additional technology instruction.


Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Living allowance, Student loan forbearance, Training

Education Benefits

GED/High School Diploma

Skills you will gain

Employment coaching, working with limited English speakers, teaching in a classroom environment and one-on-one

Competencies You Will Develop

Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Lead group discussion, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Turn taking, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Derive consensus, Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Consistently choose the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand, Operate tools and equipment in accordance with established operating procedures, safety standards, and ethical guidelines, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Effectively delegate tasks, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment
  • Activity Types Hands On Activities, Office Activities, Professional Activities
  • Focus Areas Arts & Culture, Community & Nonprofit Development, Economic Security, Education & Youth
  • Length of Service 12 Months
  • Education Requirements Less than High School Completed
  • Placement Individual Placement
  • Service Setting Arts Organization, Community-based Nonprofit, Library, Local Government Agency, Museum or Nature Center
  • Weekly Training Hours 4

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