For some time, the increasing role of digital skills has empowered some workers but also divided them from those without digital skills. A recent report by The Brookings Institution notes that the gaps are not just between workers but increasingly between places. They recommend “place-based” investment policies to provide more access to digital skills and opportunities at the local level. Several new federal programs are seeking to do just that. What is not clear yet is how these new programs (The Good Jobs Challenge, BBBRC, and NSF Regional Innovation Engines) are different from prior place-based efforts, such as the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
Is your community leading or lagging in the race to digitize? What impacts do you expect to see in the next five years?