Connect 313 Fund Announces Launch of 17 New Tech Hubs in Detroit
- Open-sourced digital literacy curriculum to be available in coming weeks
- Announcement comes at 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic Media Day
DETROIT, June 27, 2022 – The Connect 313 Fund – a collaborative partnership formed to bridge the digital divide in Detroit and founded by the Rocket Mortgage Classic, Rocket Mortgage, City of Detroit, Microsoft and United Way for Southeastern Michigan – today announced the creation of 17 new neighborhood technology hubs across Detroit.
At least one tech hub will be located in each of Detroit’s seven council districts, ensuring citywide access to these trusted community spaces that provide internet connectivity, technology and digital literacy programming. Detroit will go from five neighborhood technology hubs to 22 overall, a drastic improvement in a city that, in 2019, was ranked as the least connected large city in the country. Thanks to the efforts of the Connect 313 and other digital inclusion efforts, 67.5 percent of Detroit residents are now considered digitally included.
“We set a goal two years ago to provide Detroiters vital access to the tools and technology they need to thrive. The opening of these new technology hubs is a huge step toward that goal,” said Bob Walters, CEO of Rocket Mortgage, the title sponsor of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “These additional neighborhood tech hubs will help even more Detroiters connect to education and employment opportunities, unleash their potential and grow community.”
The announcement took place at the Rocket Mortgage Classic Media Day. The PGA TOUR event, which will be held July 26-31 at the Detroit Golf Club, began its “Changing the Course” mission in 2020 to help bridge Detroit’s digital divide. The goal of Changing the Course is to ensure every Detroiter has access to the internet, technology and digital literacy programming within a 10-minute walk of their home.
“We are proud that the Rocket Mortgage Classic can continue its critical Changing the Course mission in such an impactful way, moving Detroit one step closer to closing its digital divide,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “The Rocket Mortgage Classic is about more than golf – it’s about giving back to the city we call home and each resident across Detroit’s neighborhoods.”
Since 2019, the Rocket Mortgage Classic has invested more than $5.25 million into local nonprofits, including $3.2 million through the Changing the Course initiative first launched in 2020. Past efforts include the Connect 313 Fund’s “EBB 313” campaign – launched at the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic Media Day – which connected more than 82,500 Detroit households to the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). This represented more than 30 percent of Detroit households.
The EBB, now the American Connectivity Program (ACP), originally provided a $50 monthly discount toward internet access for low-income households, and a one-time $100 subsidy toward a technological device. Today, the ACP continues to provide a monthly $30 benefit.
The Connect 313 Fund also announced a new digital literacy curriculum, designed for learners, teachers and organizations who are new to digital literacy programming. The curriculum, based completely on open-source programming, covers basic digital literacy skills as well as tips on how to obtain internet service and a technological device. The playbook will be available in the coming weeks on the Connect 313 Fund website, where it can also be printed.
“The Connect 313 Fund’s new digital literacy curriculum will help residents develop the basic skills required to succeed in our modern, interconnected world,” said Joshua Edmonds, the City of Detroit’s Director of Digital Inclusion and the Chief Advocate for Connect 313. “From understanding the basics of software programs, to social media and how to operate a device, this free, online curriculum will help level the playing field for every Detroiter.”
The following organizations, and their locations, were selected from a list of more than 40 applicants to become Connect 313 neighborhood tech hubs. They are expected to open by the end of the year.
- Holy Temple of the Living God in Jesus – 8590 Esper St., Detroit, MI, 48204
- Green Door Initiative – 7650 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
- MACC Development – 7900 Mack Ave., Detroit, MI 48214
- Franklin Wright Settlements – 7375 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
- Detroit Association of Black Organizations – 12048 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48204
- Matrix Human Services – 1400 Woodbridge, Detroit, MI 48207
- Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance – 19321 W Chicago, Detroit, MI 48228
- Friends of Parkside – 5000 Conner St., Detroit, MI 48213
- Destined for Greatness Community Resource Center – 5555 Conner St., Detroit, MI 48213
- Replay Cafe Detroit – 6545 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48202
- CODE313 – 1420 Washington Blvd., 5th Floor, Detroit, MI 48226
- Joseph Walker-Williams Community Center – 8431 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit, MI
- The International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit – 111 E. Kirby St., Detroit, MI 48202
- Journi House of Tech – 8425 W McNichols Rd. Detroit, MI 48221
- Osborn Neighborhood Alliance – 13560 E. McNichols St., Detroit, MI 48205
- Eastside Community Network – 4401 Conner St., Detroit, MI 48215
- Bridging Communities – 6900 McGraw St., Detroit, MI 48210
Each of these tech hubs will receive grant support ensuring they are furnished with access to computers, high speed internet, digital literacy programming capabilities and other essential technology tools. They will also provide critical in-person technology support and guidance.
About the Rocket Mortgage Classic
The Rocket Mortgage Classic made history in 2019 as the first PGA TOUR event ever held in the city of Detroit, and has continued to make a positive and lasting impact on the city and its residents through its multi-year Changing the Course campaign, established in 2020 to end the digital divide in Detroit and ensure digital accessibility for all city residents. The Rocket Mortgage Classic was the most awarded event during the 2018-19 PGA TOUR season, being recognized for “Best Special Event” (then known as the AREA 313 Celebrity Challenge) and “Best Tournament Sales” as well as being honored with the first “Fair Way Award” for its diversity and inclusion initiatives. More information is available at RocketMortgageClassic.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@RocketClassic).
About Rocket Mortgage
Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender and part of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT), enables the American Dream of homeownership and financial freedom through its obsession with an industry-leading, digital-driven client experience. In late 2015, it introduced the first fully digital, completely online mortgage experience. Rocket Mortgage closed $351 billion dollars of mortgage volume across all 50 states in 2021.
Rocket Mortgage moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in 2010. The company generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Phoenix and operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit. Rocket Mortgage ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction for mortgage servicing by J.D. Power the past eight straight years, 2014 – 2021.
Rocket Companies, Rocket Mortgage’s parent company, ranked #7 on Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2022 and has placed in the top third of the list for 19 consecutive years.
For more information and company news visit RocketMortgage.com/PressRoom.
About the Connect 313 Fund
The Connect 313 Fund was formed in 2020 to coordinate and support city-wide digital inclusion efforts with a data-driven, community-based philosophy. It was launched at the Rocket Mortgage Classic PGA TOUR event as part of the tournament’s “Changing the Course” initiative.
Through the contributions of Rocket Mortgage and other tournament partners, the Connect 313 Fund was developed to support the strategy of Connect 313. The Connect 313 Fund is administered by United Way for Southeastern Michigan.
For more information visit https://connect313.org.