AT&T Provides $20,000 Contribution to
The Digital Leadership Project with Kentucky Innovation Network, Morehead State University
Morehead, KY., August 25, 2015 – As part of the company’s continuing commitment to enhancing high-speed Internet connections and supporting education across Kentucky, AT&T has contributed $20,000 to the Digital Leadership Project, a program managed by the Kentucky Innovation Network Morehead office and Morehead State University’s Center for Regional Engagement.
The Digital Leadership Project allows small business owners in eastern Kentucky to better leverage high-speed internet by pairing them with MSU college students with IT (information technology) expertise. Students will work for the companies to develop web pages, mobile “apps”, e-commerce solutions, support in commercializing IT products and other IT systems solutions. Multiple studies have shown that a lack of familiarity with how to use the internet and other IT systems is one of the primary obstacles to developing an IT economy.
“More often, the gap that we see between people who are and are not using the Internet is not a result of the availability of high-speed service, but in the adoption of the service that is readily available, and the Digital Leadership Project is helping to close that gap,” said Hood Harris, president of AT&T Kentucky. “We are proud to support the great work being done through the Digital Literacy Project, as we firmly believe that the community that finds a way to educate citizens and help them build digital literacy skills that allow them to harness the power of the Internet – will be well on its way to being a true technology hub.”
With its focus on educating business owners on the benefits of utilizing the Internet and other IT infrastructure and systems, the Digital Literacy Project is positioned to have a significant impact on the business community in Northeast Kentucky which is primarily populated by small businesses.
“The Internet adoption rate by businesses in Northeast Kentucky is lower than the state average. Couple that with the lack of adoption of platforms such as e-commerce and the region’s relatively small IT economy and you see the challenge we have in creating a tech based economy. Through the Digital Leadership Project, we are focused on increasing adoption by emphasizing the benefit to businesses that adopt e-solutions. Another exciting aspect of this project is that it’s MSU students who do the work. That means they get experience performing the work and developing the market and the businesses win by getting cost-effective solutions,” said Johnathan Gay, director of the Kentucky Innovation Network office at Morehead and manager of the Digital Leadership Project. “We are thankful for the support from AT&T, and we look forward to a long relationship with AT&T as we both strive to connect people and businesses to the opportunities available through adoption of high-speed Internet and other IT services.”
“The tools that are available to businesses and residents through high-speed Internet connectivity are invaluable and can lead to greater efficiencies in the workplace, to the identification of new customers, and potentially to the creation of new jobs,” said State Representative Rocky Adkins. “It is so encouraging to see corporate support – like this from AT&T – that provides funding to extend the reach of the Digital Literacy Project to more businesses in the area.”
To learn more about the Kentucky Innovation Network visit www.kyinnovation.com. For information about the Digital Leadership Project, contact Johnathan at 606-783-9536.
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