Since the inception of our pilot project in Palembang, Indonesia, I have witnessed the power that opportunity can have in people’s lives, and more specifically, the influence of wireless connectivity.
In May 2010, we completed a project with SRA International, Inc., that offered 1,000 prepaid tuition vouchers (all of which were redeemed) to economically disadvantaged students. The goal of the voucher program was to build awareness and interest in new wireless technology services within middle-mile communities – communities that connect a small town to a larger metropolitan area, where it then interconnects with major Internet carriers, providers and services.
Named Global Ready eTraining Centers, these locations were developed to provide students, teachers and community members with access to affordable, high-quality, IT training and professional development. A hands-on training program was designed by the Indonesian technology training company, PalComTech, to speed up each student’s ability to enter Indonesia’s job market and realize the benefits of their newly-acquired skill set. Each Center has several classrooms; some devoted to computer/Internet training and at least one classroom devoted to training in computer/server maintenance and repair.
Now, more than a year after the completion of the pilot phase, the Centers continue to provide Internet access, job training skills and other educational classes to interested Palembang citizens, as well as the students who were initially part of the pilot. Partners report that 100 percent of the voucher holders were satisfied with the training program and a survey of alumni showed that 100 percent of students have received a job promotion as a result of the program.
Wireless technology provided through the Centers enabled over 160 people to find new jobs and many participants reported an increase in their salary due to the training received. These powerful results make me proud to be a part of this successful program. And I am excited to see how this model can scale to reach even more people in underserved communities around the world.
You can read more about how wireless technology is improving people’s lives at www.qualcomm.com\wirelessreach.