Impacts and Outcomes of California Connects Programs

“Yo le dije al maestro que no me iría de aquí hasta que no supiera cómo abrir mi correo y acceder a él cuando yo quisiera, donde quisiera. Ya no quería depender de que lo hicieran los demás por mí.”

—I told the trainer that I didn’t want to leave until I knew how to open my email and get access to it whenever and wherever I want. I didn’t want to depend on others to do it for me anymore. ~ California Connects trainee, 38

Through its groundbreaking programs, California Connects empowers communities to engage with technology and become more connected and confident. In an age where society as a whole depends on technology, computer and Internet skills are critical for people to be independent, respected participants in professional and interpersonal situations. California Connects laid a vital foundation of technological understanding with both immediate and long-term benefits to the participants.

Each program had a unique approach…

  • MESA provided nearly 6000 laptops to community college students. In exchange, those students reached out to their families and communities, giving back by offering 12 hours of technology skills teaching.
    Read more about outcomes specific to MESA…
  • GVC visited some 18 counties of the most under-served and un-served areas of California and provided free computer classes to 2,628 community members.
    Read more about outcomes and impacts specific to GVC…
  • LWT created an online digital literacy tool to guide trainees through the process of becoming connected to technology.


MESA and GVC: Attaining Fundamental Computer Skills

Dedicated space and time, with trainers from their own community who met trainees where they were and took them patiently step by step through using the basic functions of a computer gave community members a positive, supportive learning experience. As their successes were acknowledged and celebrated, trainees began the journey to full broadband adoption and digital competency.

The MESA and GVC programs successfully…

  • Constructed a scaffolding of basic computer functionality and terminology, thereby paving the way for learning additional computer and technical skills in response to variable professional and personal demands.
  • Conquered fears of technology, replacing them with pride in new skills, assurance in sharing of community resources, and confidence to ask questions or investigate technical solutions independently.
  • Responded to community priorities, focusing training on functions more useful to trainees to advance their skills in significant and immediately relevant ways.

Support from trainers opened up the world of technology for trainees, showing them the way toward continuous, autonomous growth of their technical and internet skills.

MESA and GVC: Empowering Communities to Learn

These programs provided the opportunity for communities to learn valuable technological skills, resulting in the realization that they could continue to learn and advance their education. The introduction to computer skills opened up an enormous number of new venues for them to gain important knowledge and to connect with essential resources.

MESA and GVC programs demonstrated key outcomes. Successful learning in training…

  • Sparked interest in pursuing education in the future and increased engagement in social and civic processes.
  • Addressed meaningful priorities, such as finding and using resources to prepare for citizenship tests and cultivate English language skills.
  • Improved communication with schools, allowing parents to access online tools for homework and grades and communication with teachers.


MESA and GVC: Competing in the Workforce

As employment becomes more and more integrally tied to computer and internet technologies, programs such as California Connects create pivotal opportunities for people to compete in today’s workforce. Digital functionality lays the groundwork for economic independence.

The skills taught in MESA and GVC programs made it possible for trainees to…

  • Access job openings only available through online postings and application processes, increasing their chances of becoming employed.
  • Communicate through essential, Internet-based channel with bosses, clients, and co-workers, becoming more involved and engaged employees.
  • Adapt to new job duties such as mandatory email communication or software usage, thereby meeting the requirements necessary to keep their jobs.
  • Improve outcomes in personal business endeavors through access to online tools and faster communication with customers.


GVC and MESA: Changing People’s Lives

California Connects programs provided skills training indispensible for navigating changing societal standards. The training made participants more independent, earning the respect of their communities and families and also changing their attitudes about themselves. California Connects challenged them to learn and supported them along their journey, creating a newfound self-assurance for learning about computers and the Internet.

California Connects programs resulted in people beginning to explore the possibilities of technology. Trainees accessed important services, such as healthcare, and conveniently completed daily life tasks, such as banking and shopping, via the Internet. Others could more easily stay in touch with friends and family, even those living far away. California Connects profoundly impacted people’s everyday lives, connecting them to their communities and helping them live successfully with technology.