Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced that the state will invest $4.75 million in the Digital Opportunities to Connect Kansans (DOCK) program, an initiative designed to improve the digital skills of Kansans.
“The Digital Opportunities to Connect Kansans initiative further demonstrates our commitment to ensuring Kansans have the tools necessary to be successful in the digital world,” Gov. Kelly said. “By investing almost $5 million in digital skills training, we are creating a future for every Kansan to harness the power of technology and unlock its full potential.”
The state explained that DOCK promotes access to digital resources by providing awards for digital skills development programs. The maximum individual award is $250,000, with required matching funds at 5 percent.
“It is critical to recognize the importance of this type of training as Kansas continues to support the needs of a changing workforce while bringing high-speed internet to everyone,” Lt. Gov. and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “This program will amplify opportunities for more Kansans by expanding the skills they need to participate in the digital economy.”
Entities encouraged to apply for the DOCK program include non-profit organizations; political subdivisions or entities of political subdivisions; counties; municipalities; for-profit businesses and organizations, including broadband service providers; Tribal governments; libraries; school districts; museums; higher education institutions; co-operatives; and electric utilities.
According to the program’s website, eligible applicants “must have a demonstrated history in the planning and delivery of digital literacy and skills development training capabilities at no charge to targeted populations.” Additionally, required capabilities include but are not limited to: skills assessment and training, curriculum development, and content creation and delivery and monitoring program outcomes. Applicants must be an established organization that has been operating for a minimum of three years in the state.
“Equipping Kansas workers with digital skills is essential to develop our workforce and grow our economy,” Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson said. “The DOCK program can help us accomplish that important goal.”