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November 17, 1999
Welfare-to-Web training helps transition to digital workplace
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italThink, a pioneer in providing e-learning solutions, and SFWorks, a leader in welfare-to-work, are introducing their joint program, "WELFARE-TO-WEB."

This pilot program will enable SFWorks clients who have moved into entry-level jobs to learn advanced computer skills, using DigitalThink online learning courseware. The goal of the program is to help these clients move into higher level positions in San Francisco's digital marketplace.

Sponsored by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the Committee on Jobs and the United Way of the Bay Area, SFWorks has partnered with over 150 Bay Area corporations in workforce development.

Said Willie Brown, Mayor of San Francisco, "It's exciting to see DigitalThink step up to the plate and form this partnership with SFWorks. My hope is that other technology companies will follow their lead and help bridge the digital divide."

This partnership will help people moving from welfare -- as well as local businesses -- by adding trained workers to a desperately shallow labor pool. SFWorks clients will have access to DigitalThink courseware in areas such as programming, office tools, and networking, which will help serve to develop the kind of high technology skills in such great demand today. DigitalThink's e-learning courseware is self-paced and highly interactive, and they have built-in online tutor support and student communities.

Despite the acclaim the Internet receives as a life-changing technology, a large portion of the population does not benefit from the existence of the Web. In fact, one of the impacts the Internet has had on the workforce is to increase the demand for knowledge-based jobs. In 2000, skilled jobs will constitute 65 percent of jobs, up from only 20 percent in 1950 ("The Knowledge Book", Michael T. Moe, Merrill Lynch), and the pay gap between skilled and unskilled workers grows annually. This gap is often referred to as the "digital divide," and the DigitalThink/SFWorks partnership is determined to bridge this gap.

SFWorks can be found at

DigitalThink can be found on the Web at

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