SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been awarded an exciting new grant from AT&T to improve digital literacy in Rowan County. The $5,000 grant will allow the College to conduct computer training classes to improve digital literacy in the community.

“We are proud to partner with AT&T on this initiative that will help our community to develop additional digital literacy tools and skills. As one of the top ten digital community colleges in the U.S., it is something we pride ourselves in,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus.

The program called “Passport for the Online World” is designed to help beginners to advanced online application users. This program will include a range of training from basic computer classes to courses on transitioning to cloud based computing, Microsoft Online Office and using social media in a work search. Participants in the program receive a stamp in their virtual passport when successfully completing one of the computer trainings.

“Digital literacy is an essential requirement for 21st Century citizenship, and is defined as the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the internet,” said Senator Andrew Brock. “Some folks are at risk of falling behind if they are not part of the connected world.”

“At AT&T, we believe strongly in the importance of education as essential to a person’s future success, as well as the future of a community,” said Kathleen Evans, AT&T Regional Director for External Affairs. “We are all citizens of a digital world and this program helps to prepare students for success in a way they may not have thought possible.”

The College will offer this program as part of the award-winning R3 (Refocus, Retrain, Re-employ) program.

The R3 model has been in existence at Rowan-Cabarrus for a number of years, largely helping to support the workforce laid off in the region over the last two decades. The College currently provides employability workshops, adult basic education, NCWorks Career Center services and job search assistance free of charge through the R3 program.

“The College is committed to helping build a strong workforce and to supporting the economic growth of Rowan County. This funding will continue to help us do just that,” said Craig Lamb, the vice president of corporate and continuing education at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

R3 Career Services currently offers computer lab assistance each week where residents can work with an instructor in an informal setting to identify their computer skill level needs. Participants may sign up at these weekly times for the “Passport for the Online World” program or more information, visit www.rccc.edu/r3or call 704-216-7201

“The goal of this program is to make a difference by helping individuals gain basic computer skills. In addition, we also offer critical workforce training and skill-building,” said Keri Allman, Program Manager for R3 Career Services at Rowan-Cabarrus.

In an effort to assist more people with access to the digital world, the access from AT&T program provides a low-cost option for home internet access to limited-income households. This opportunity is available in the 21 states where the company offers wireline home internet services and where, at least, one of the household members participates in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Qualifying households can receive the fastest of five speed tiers available, up to 10 megabits per second, based on their service address. For more information about the program, or to begin an application, go to www.att.com/access.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).