TechPak, a partnership between Tech Dump, PCs For People, Literacy Minnesota, Saint Paul Public Library and Ramsey County, brought computers, internet and digital literacy training into the homes of Ramsey County residents who have experienced economic impacts due to COVID-19.
More than 2,150 TechPaks were awarded to residents from September through December 2020. TechPak distribution was prioritized by residents with the most significant technological barriers. Almost 50% of packs were awarded to African American applicants, followed by 25% Caucasian and 9% Asian. Recipients faced barriers due to COVID-19 including job loss and change in household income.
Participants worked closely with a Digital Literacy Navigator from Literacy Minnesota who gave individual support with required digital literacy classes and referrals on workforce training and job searches.
The Ramsey County TechPak initiative is a part of the Ramsey County Investment and Support Efforts (RISE) program, which will invest $72 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding in the community by the end of 2020.