Driving Our Economy Forward: The Enterprise Center

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Both technology and resources are needed for a business to be successful these days.

And for that reason, the Enterprise Center says it helps connect people to those things.

It’s one way the organization is driving our economy forward.

“Here at the Enterprise Center we spend a lot of our time figuring out how we can use technology to get better quality outcomes for the people who live in Chattanooga,” said Deb Socia, president and CEO. “Our Tech Goes Home program actually provides 15 hours of digital skills training, a laptop computer, and assistance to get low-cost or low-cost home access. It’s really important for every aspect of our lives now for whether it’s healthcare or education or online shopping, think of all the things we do online and how difficult it would be if we didn’t have that access.”

Socia says the center supports not just people in Chattanooga and Hamilton County, but across the state as well.

“We help folks figure out how to get home access, whether it’s low cost or no cost,” she said. “Some of those programs like the affordable connectivity project is available through the FCC and it can save people $30 a month on their Internet bill. And so that’s a really wonderful project.”

Socia says the Enterprise Center also helps kids in schools K to 12 connect to home access for free.

“The average speed is about 300 megabits symmetrical which is really wonderful. So far, we have supported 16,000 children,” Socia said. “We have about 125 Wi-Fi hot-spots across the city and some in the county. And this was specifically working with EPB to make sure folks could get access. If they didn’t have it at home, they could maybe walk five minutes to a spot where there was outside access. What I’m most excited about currently, is this idea that we can help older folks, age in place, and have online assistance with their health, have online ability to order groceries, communicate with their family, call up a ride from Carta, you know, just ways that we can invest into an individual. So that we can make their last years more pleasant. My real goal is that we work ourselves out of the job. That we’d have everybody connected comfortable using technology and Internet. And that there’d be Internet ubiquitously deployed. I’d be thrilled if we could do that.”




Categories: Driving Our Economy Forward, Jobs & Economy, Local News