Connect Westchester represents the Westchester County Office of Economic Development's latest endeavor aimed at closing the digital divide. This innovative initiative is dedicated to ensuring that low-income residents have access to essential digital resources, education, and affordable internet services. Through strategic collaborations with key partners such as the STEM Alliance, The Westchester County Association, we are committed to empowering every member of our community to take meaningful steps toward achieving digital equity. Ten local libraries will offer digital training sessions that include device ownership, connectivity, and access to online learning and enrichment tools and general public information events on the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Reconnect with Tech
Reconnect with Tech addresses the needs of those reentering their communities after incarceration connecting them with the tools they need to navigate their successful reentry at a time when digital skills, access to a device and internet connection is needed for almost every aspect of daily life, from finding a job or housing, to accessing County benefits or for pursuing online continuing education. A two-year 2021 NY Innovation Grant, for Reconnect with Tech – a pilot program supporting the digital needs of justice impacted individuals connected 80 formerly incarcerated individuals with the resources they need to reenter their community. A Con Edison grant will continue a portion of the program in 2024.
During the Covid pandemic, a COVID-19 Response Grant from Westchester Community Foundation provided Chromebooks, hotspots and training for 268 Head Start families and individuals living in temporary housing or shelters.
“The opportunity for our residents to own a Chromebook is a true blessing. We are so grateful to WLS for making this possible. The average person in Westchester does not realize the hard times many of our neighbors are having. We see it every day. Too many are working with only a cell phone for connection; their children had to return laptops at the end of the school year, and many are sharing a laptop with 4 or 5 family members. Something that so many take for granted – a simple Chromebook or laptop can truly help our residents on a path forward.” Venola Campbell, Coachman, White Plains as told to Ms. Brigham, Director of Development.