Like all cities, Chattanooga faces a major digital divide characterized by a disparity in technical literacy, hardware adoption, and Internet access among its citizens based on income, race, and age. The Enterprise Center has been tasked with developing programs to meet this challenge head-on by building programs to ensure that the city’s digital assets are available to everyone in Chattanooga.
Tech Goes Home Chattanooga
Tech Goes Home, TEC’s first effort to begin addressing community issues of digital equity, completed its first full year of operation in 2016. Tech Goes Home addresses three core issues related to the digital divide:
- Education - by providing a 15-hour curriculum allowing participants to realize the applications of the Internet in their daily lives
- Hardware - upon completing the class, participants may purchase a new laptop for $50
- Low-cost connectivity - participants are able to enroll in one of a few options for low-cost Internet access
Growing Our Workforce with a New Coding School
Through a partnership between The Enterprise Center and Birmingham-based company Covalence, a new 10-week coding school program began in May of 2017. The program offers an accelerated coding curriculum in an effort to provide valuable IT training to more Chattanoogans as well as meet the local demand for skilled employees in the technology sector. Using a highly-effective, boot-camp style, Covalence teaches aspiring developers how to code by offering accelerated, demand-driven full stack and front end coding programs.
Covalence occupies the first floor of the former Municipal Water building located at 1001 Lindsay St. in the heart of Chattanooga’s Innovation District.