Diversity & Inclusion
Arts / Computer science / Digital access / Municipal government / Nonprofits

The numbers that make KEYSPOT a leader in digital inclusion

The city's network of computer literacy training centers recently won an award from a national digital access group. Here's on update on how many people the program is serving.

At a KEYSPOT computing center, October 2014. (Photo courtesy of the Mayor's Commission on Literacy)

Recently, Philadelphia got a big thumbs up for its KEYSPOT program.
The city won the first-ever Leader in Digital Inclusion Award from the National League of Cities and Next Century Cities in partnership with Google Fiber (other winners include Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C., for its newly renovated Mobile Tech Lab.)
KEYSPOT is a network of computer literacy training centers aimed at improving public access to the internet and technology.
While the award doesn’t have a monetary component, “its well-deserved recognition” for the city, according to Jennifer Kobrin, associate director of the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy and KEYSPOT’s program manager
“KEYSPOT was chosen as one of the six awardees from a national pool of applicants, and we feel honored as this is the very first award of its kind,” Kobrin in an email. “This award is special because it acknowledges that many stakeholders in the City of Philadelphia are working collaboratively toward this shared goal.”
Korbin also updated Technical.ly Philly on KEYSPOT, so here’s a by-the-numbers look at what the program has been doing for the past year as well as some new plans going forward:

  • 3 new locations: KEYSPOT now operates at Connections for Humanity at 325 W. Rockland St., the Center for Literacy at 399 Market St., and the Lutheran Settlement House on 1340 Frankford Ave.
  • 50 total KEYSPOT locations across the city: 19 of these spots are in city recreation centers, 3 are in Free Library of Philadelphia-sponsored sites and 28 other KEYSPOT locations are in neighborhood-based organizations.  KEYSPOT continues to be managed by the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy, the city’s Office of Innovation and Technology, the Department of Parks and Recreation and Drexel University.
  • 133,258 site visits: The period between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 saw 45,296 open-access hours across all of KEYSPOT’s sites, according to data the program collects quarterly.
  • $130,000 for 13 nonprofits: In addition to supporting KEYSPOT in rec centers and libraries, city funding was invested in 13 nonprofit organizations that operate a KEYSPOT. The funding, according to Kobrin, is used mostly to defray staffing costs. Some $10,000 was given to first-time grant winners; renewing award recipients were given $7,500; and three locations were given an extra $500 for innovative projects.
  • Quarterly meetings and multiple collaborations: At network-wide meetings, which occur four times a year, KEYSPOT staff receive professional development training, Kobrin explained. The program has also created multiple partnerships in the past year — including ones dedicated to helping parents find after-school programs and helping individuals get set up to use the bike share program.

On the horizon, KEYSPOT has plans for open houses of the new locations, a new online platform and a new pilot program — which received funding from the city’s Innovation Fund — called Computer Skills and Bicycle Thrills: Health and Fitness through Technology.

Companies: KEYSPOT / Drexel University / Mayor’s Commission on Literacy / Office of Innovation and Technology

Before you go...

Please consider supporting Technical.ly to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, Technical.ly has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


A local meetup group is using Amazon’s cybersecurity conference in Philly to raise money for tech nonprofits

Philly is ranked one of the world’s best places to found a startup, climbing to No. 25 globally

Coded by Kids drops ‘kids’ but keeps the focus on young people

This Week in Jobs: The kernel of a new career is in these 20 tech opportunities

Technically Media