Comcast announced that it will provide $110,000 in grants to two Atlanta nonprofits – Raising Expectations and Inspiredu – to support the launch of Connect 404, a Digital Navigator program.
Through Connect 404, the organizations are partnering to hire trusted community members (known as digital navigators) to help residents get connected to the internet and access digital skills training programs to advance digital equity for Georgians.
“It is clear that the workforce in Atlanta and across the state relies heavily on digital adoption and skills training,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, EVP and Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation and President, Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation.
“Comcast is proud to partner with Raising Expectations and Inspiredu to launch the Connect 404 Digital Navigator program, and better ensure that underserved communities will be able to acquire the tools and training that will accelerate economic mobility and competition in the workforce of today and tomorrow.”
A recent research report by the National Skills Coalition, titled Closing the Digital Skills Divide, analyzed 43 million online job ads and found virtually all of today’s jobs require digital skills including those roles seeking limited education or work experience.
The report showed that those who qualify for jobs that require even one digital skill can earn an average of 23 percent more than those working in jobs requiring no digital skills — an increase of $8,000 per year for an individual full-time worker.
The findings also pointed to four key industries in Georgia that are seeking employees with the following digital skills:
- Finance and insurance: Mobile banking; information security; structured query language; nationwide mortgage licensing system
- Healthcare: Electronic medical records; radiologic technology
- Manufacturing: Enterprise resource planning software; robotics; computer numerical control; programmable logic controller
- Retail: Sales after service retail analytics and consumer goods software; robotics; credit card applications
“We are incredibly grateful to Comcast for their generous donation to our Connect 404 Digital Navigators program,” said Richard Hicks, CEO of Inspiredu. “Comcast has been a great partner in helping to bridge the digital divide here in Atlanta, and we are proud to support their mission.”
In addition to receiving digital navigation services, Atlanta residents who qualify may apply for the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides families with a $30 per month benefit ($75 per month on Tribal lands) toward their Internet bill. Comcast is making ACP credits available for all of the company’s Xfinity Internet speed tiers, including Internet Essentials.
Comcast continues to invest heavily in Georgia and expand into new communities by building out its advanced, fiber-rich broadband network. These investments come as Georgia is getting ready to implement the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program (BEAD). Launched last year, the BEAD Program allocated $42.45 billion to build out the infrastructure to connect all Americans to the internet.
“I applaud Comcast’s commitment to creating stronger digital equity and broadband adoption across greater Atlanta in partnership with Raising Expectations and Inspiredu,” said Atlanta City Councilman Jason Dozier.
“Efforts that pair broadband adoption with access to training programs that teach skills necessary to thrive in today’s workforce are requisite to closing the digital divide. This timely investment will help provide more Atlantans with the tools and digital skills they will need to be successful, wherever their journeys take them.”
Today’s announcement is part of Project UP, Comcast’s company-wide initiative to advance digital equity and build a future of unlimited possibilities by connecting people to the Internet and opening doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and storytellers.
For more information about Project UP and Comcast’s commitment to education and digital equity, please visit https://corporate.comcast.com/impact/project-up. To apply for ACP or Internet Essentials visit www.Xfinity.com/free or www.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376 for English or 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.