Comcast today announced the opening of four new Lift Zones in the Twin Cities to provide free WiFi access to families across the area. Furthering the company’s deep and longstanding commitment to advancing equity and opportunity, our new Lift Zones at the International Institute, Every Third Saturday, Al Maa’uun, and GMCC will support digital access and adoption through tech training and career building. The new Lift Zone at International Institute will also receive 250 new laptops and two privacy pods, which will be used for virtual job interviews and telehealth appointments, as needed by clients.
Comcast’s Lift Zones program provides free WiFi, powered by Comcast Business, to enable students, seniors, families, and community members to get online and fully participate in the digital economy. With these four new locations, Comcast now offers over 115 Lift Zones throughout the Twin Cities.
Comcast’s investments in 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.
“The tasks of starting a new life in a new country can be overwhelming for refugees and immigrants when they arrive. Digital literacy and lack of reliable internet access can get in the way of applying for work, participating in classes or accessing community services,” said Jane Graupman, Executive Director, International Institute of Minnesota. “Thanks to Comcast and this Lift Zone partnership, we can make this time a little easier for New Americans who contribute so much to our community.”
“Helping to close the digital divide and address digital equity remain top priorities here in the Twin Cities,” said Makram El-Amin, Executive Director from Al Maa’uun. “Our city and our region have become even more dependent on broadband to learn, find work and healthcare services and so many other aspects of our daily life. Comcast’s new Lift Zones will create endless opportunities for so many individuals, families, and seniors in our community.”
“We’re proud to partner with these four wonderful organizations to launch new Lift Zones to advance digital equity and workforce readiness in our most vulnerable neighborhoods,” said Kalyn Hove, Regional Senior Vice President, Comcast Midwest. “Our continued partnership with our community partners will equip individuals, families and seniors with the tools, skills and resources they need to achieve their goals.”
“Helping our communities achieve digital equity is in our DNA at Comcast,” said Broderick Johnson, EVP, Public Policy, and EVP, Digital Equity, Comcast Corporation. “We’re thrilled to partner with the International Institute, Every Third Saturday, Al Maa’uun, and GMCC on our next installation of Lift Zones in the Twin Cities and to work with partners who share our same goals of closing the digital divide.”
Today’s announcement is part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to reach millions of people with the tools, resources, and skills needed to succeed in a digital world. Comcast’s Lift Zones complement Internet Essentials, which since 2011, has helped connect more than 10 million low-income people to the Internet at home. In Minnesota, the program has connected more than 416,000 Minnesotans. Comcast also participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides qualifying households with a $30 per month credit, or $75 per month on Tribal lands, toward their Internet and mobile services. New and existing Xfinity Internet or Internet Essentials customers can learn more about the program and sign up by visiting: https://www.xfinity.com/learn/internet-service/acp/free-internet.
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