Wisper Partners with Microsoft on New Digital Literacy Resources

Mascoutah, IL (March 3, 2021) – Today Wisper ISP, LLC’s announced efforts with Microsoft Corp. to provide digital skilling and literacy resources to the communities it serves in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. This builds on an existing agreement between the two companies aimed at expanding access to broadband Internet in rural communities across the six states as part of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative.

Awareness of the digital divide has only heightened since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the problem doesn’t just stop at providing rural communities with a high-speed, reliable Internet connection. The lack of access has created a lack of digital literacy and skills, when compared to urban communities. These digital skills are required for many common office jobs, and lay the foundation for higher paying, high-tech jobs.

Technology can play a powerful role in helping people connect, learn, engage with their community, and create more promising futures. Wisper is working with Microsoft to bring broadband service to rural, traditionally underserved communities via the Microsoft Airband Initiative and is now working to provide access to curated learning resources from Microsoft, LinkedIn and its partners, available via Microsoft’s global skills initiative.

These resources can help build the technology skills needed to participate in today’s digital economy.

  • LinkedIn Learning – Build skills for in-demand roles in digital marketing, product management, data analysis, and software development.
  • Microsoft Learn – Interactive, self-paced content to help learners advance their technical skills and prepare for role-based certifications in Microsoft products.
  • GitHub Learning Lab – Develop technical skills by practicing on fun and realistic projects.
  • Certifications in Microsoft products at reduced costs.

Opportunities to get in front of employers

  • Microsoft and LinkedIn are combining resources to help jobseekers prepare for a successful job search with access to LinkedIn job search tools and free courses.
  • Microsoft is also using Microsoft Artificial Intelligence to power virtual interviews, whereby jobseekers can practice virtual interviews and receive feedback.

You may visit Wisper’s main website to view the digital literacy resources, or the following link can be used for direct access, https://wisperisp.com/learning-resources-from-microsoft/.

Tens of millions of Americans have experienced job displacement during the pandemic. “With a large pool of applicants fighting for a limited number of competitive, in-demand jobs, rural residents can’t afford to be behind in their digital literacy skill set,” said Wisper CEO and founder Nathan Stooke. “We are thankful for our collaboration with Microsoft and hope these resources help members of the communities we serve in their job search and career development.”

“Together with Wisper, we are making great progress to provide broadband to unserved and underserved rural communities, but connectivity is only the beginning of our work together,” said Vickie Robinson, general manager of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative. “Helping people utilize that new connectivity is the next step, and our work with Wisper to bring provide digital skills resources will help lay the foundation for new, in-demand jobs for rural residents.”

Wisper ISP, Inc.

Wisper ISP, Inc. is a Wireless Internet Service Provider with 180 employees and 20,000 subscribers across Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Wisper is based out of Mascoutah, IL, in the St. Louis Metro Area, with regional offices in Joplin and Washington, MO. Wisper customers in rural and metropolitan communities receive fast, reliable service and friendly, helpful customer service.

About Microsoft Airband

Microsoft’s Airband Initiative is an effort to close the broadband gap and help communities use new connectivity to improve education, health care, and agriculture, and transform their businesses. The Airband Initiative works with the private and public sectors to invest in new technologies, accelerate broadband deployment, and support policy changes with the goal of bringing broadband access to millions of people in the United States. More information can be found at aka.ms/airband.

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