Comcast today announced a new $400,000 investment in four Tacoma-based organizations to form a digital equity network* in the South Sound Region, aimed at advancing digital and economic opportunity for local students, families, and small business owners. Furthering the company’s deep and longstanding commitment to advancing equity and opportunity, the donations to Boys & Girls Clubs of the South Puget Sound, Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region, TeamWrk, and the Thrive Tacoma Business Fund will support digital access and adoption through tech training and career building.
Announced today at the Boys & Girls Club Schatz Branch in Tacoma, the public-private partnership advances Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards’ goal as National League of Cities president to bring together people and partnerships to create unlimited possibilities for cities across America. This innovative partnership advances digital equity, creates a more prepared workforce, and provides critical resources to local communities and residents to develop skills they need to succeed in a more digital world. Today’s investment adds to the one made by Comcast last September when it awarded $300,000 to the same four organizations. Comcast selected the recipient organizations based on their shared commitment to digital equity and programs specifically designed to provide residents in the South Puget Sound region with internet access and skill-building services.
“Digital equity is a fundamental right, and local communities with equitable access to the internet are simply better positioned to fully engage in today’s world,” said Woodards. “It is essential for education and employment, business development, healthcare, government services, and community involvement. I am grateful to our private sector partners at Comcast for their ongoing commitment to this critical work.”
“There’s no question the world is becoming more and more digital every day, but some people need our help learning the skills they need to get online,” said Broderick Johnson, EVP, Public Policy, and EVP, Digital Equity, Comcast Corporation. “Comcast is grateful to continue to partner with Mayor Woodards, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the South Puget Sound, Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region, TeamWrk, and the Thrive Tacoma Business Fund who all share the same commitment to advancing digital equity for all residents across the region.”
Comcast’s contributions are part of Project UP, a $1 billion commitment to help advance digital equity and build a future of Unlimited Possibilities. Comcast’s contribution to the four partner organizations will help increase college and career readiness, especially among underserved youth; connect workers to opportunities; provide upskilling for adult learners and those already in the workforce; and close the skills – particularly digital skills – gap.
Comcast is proud to participate in the Federal Government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides eligible families with a $30/month voucher ($75/month in Tribal areas) to pay for Internet service. When combined with Comcast’s Internet Essentials or Internet Essentials+ service tiers, it makes home broadband effectively free.
Here is how each recipient organization will use the funds to advance digital equity and support South Sound communities in 2023:
Boys & Girls Clubs of the South Puget Sound
Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound (BGCSPS) received $130,000 in cash and in-kind services. A cash contribution and donated laptops are for a new enhanced Lift Zone at the Boys & Girls Clubs Schatz Branch. The Lift Zone includes a new computer lab that makes internet connectivity and technology. to help kids aged 6 to 18 with tutoring, homework support, and technology access. The new technology equipment includes a Dremel DigiLab 3D Printer; Vevor Vinyl Cutting Plotter; 30 Dell Latitude Laptop stations with large monitors; two high-powered computer stations for advanced graphic design, music production, and programming, and 17 STEAM education kits. An additional 30 laptops were contributed to digital literacy programs at the Bremerton Branch. BGCSPS provides youth with safe spaces, caring mentors, and life-enhancing programs tailored to help them reach their full potential.
Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region
Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region will receive $85,000 to drive attendance at the organization’s Work Opportunity Centers (WOC) that provide community members with access to digital skills training, devices, subsidized internet access from the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and additional digital navigation resources. Comcast’s grant will also increase access to digital technology and skills training for people through its Power Up initiative and help ensure that the Goodwill’s free job-training program equips Western Washington residents with the most relevant and timely digital skills that are required for nearly all jobs in our economy.
TeamWrk is e-gaming innovator Marcel Cunningham's foundation, which challenges youth to level up to their full potential. His vision is to equip and empower everyone to elevate their game. Comcast’s $20,000 cash contribution and $21,000 in donated laptops will facilitate live streaming from the TeamWrk center and help to expand the foundation's reach to more youth in the City of Tacoma. Computers donated by Comcast will be distributed to teens participating in TeamWrk digital literacy education, which teaches them how to use Teams, Zoom, and PowerPoint; create and edit podcasts, graphics, and video content; and learn other digital skills supporting their school and career.
Thrive Tacoma Business Fund
Led by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, the mission of the Thrive Tacoma Business Fund is to provide direct financial support for small businesses owned by people of color, many of which are struggling with rising expenses and inflation. Comcast’s $150,000 contribution will be used to fund grants that will be awarded based on the business need in amounts of $2,500 to $5,000. Additional financial support will also go to non-profits with digital navigators, trusted community members who provide access and assistance to program participants. Recipients will receive direct finance, digital access, and other technical support specifically curated to their unique business challenges, thereby ensuring greater equitable economic development in Tacoma.
*About Comcast’s Digital Equity Network
Comcast’s Digital Equity Network is an interconnected group of organizations in the Pacific Northwest that have a connection with each other and work collectively toward a common purpose to increase access and adoption of the internet, help people get online, build digital skills, and open doors to economic mobility. This network:
- Makes Internet Affordable to income-constrained households through a combination of our Internet Essentials service and the federal Affordable Connectivity Program
- Increases Awareness and facilitates Adoption through digital literacy classes from community partners and Digital Navigators
- Expands Internet access by investing millions of dollars to bring our services to unserved areas and opening more than 100 Lift Zones in community centers in the Pacific Northwest
Over the last three years, Comcast has provided $11.9 million in financial and in-kind charitable contributions to Washington nonprofits. These contributions support to local community programs to help establish and promote its Digital Equity Network in Washington. Comcast’s Digital Equity Network enables partner organizations to acquire technology equipment, provide digital skills trainings, and offer opportunities for youth and adults to explore and train for careers in tech-related fields, or develop the kinds of technology skills that can help them launch and grow their own business.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company. From the connectivity and platforms we provide, to the content and experiences we create, our businesses reach hundreds of millions of customers, viewers, and guests worldwide. We deliver world-class broadband, wireless, and video through Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky; produce, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through brands including NBC, Telemundo, Universal, Peacock, and Sky; and bring incredible theme parks and attractions to life through Universal Destinations & Experiences.Contact Details
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