Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM) received a $35,000 Digitial Education Grant from cable and internet company Spectrum.
The organizations were joined by State Senator Kelda Roys and State Representative Shelia Stubbs to advocate for the importance of digital literacy while presenting the grant.
The grant is part of Spectrum’s six-year, $8 million commitment to promote digital education and broadband technology in communities across the country, according to a press release from the company. The event took place during the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) “Call to Action” week. The ACP is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to make quality, high-speed internet service available at a low or no cost to eligible families in financial need. Spectrum has participated in the program since it began, and all Spectrum Internet plans are eligible for ACP credits.
ULGM will use the funding to further its “ADVANCE Employment Services” program, which focuses on offering both youth and adults digital work readiness training along with vocational skills to ready them for the workforce, accordingt to the press release. The $35,000 grant is the third Spectrum Digital Education grant in five years for Urban League of Madison, bringing total Spectrum support for the organization to $90,000.
“In our online world, digital skills are critical to navigating everything from finding a job, to going to school, to buying groceries – yet too many families still have not adopted internet at home,” said Rahman Kahn, Vice President of Community Impact for Charter Communications, Inc., which operates the Spectrum brand of Internet, Mobile, TV and Voice services. “As one of the largest internet providers in the U.S., Spectrum is committed to supporting local initiatives like the Urban League that promote digital literacy and inclusion and help educate to community members in the Madison area about the value of adopting broadband in their lives so they can succeed in today’s connected society.”
The presentation was held during the beginning of an Urban League of Madison “Computer Bootcamp” class, which gives adults the opportunity to become more knowledgeable on the digital tools most used in the workplace. In addition to the grant, each of the class participants received a new Google Chromebook courtesy of Spectrum.
“The Urban League of Greater Madison is excited for this renewed commitment from Spectrum to support our digital literacy efforts,” said Urban League of Greater Madison President & CEO Dr. Ruben L. Anthony, Jr. “Because of Spectrum’s generous support in the past, more than 500 unemployed and underemployed adults have learned digital skills leading to better employment and thousands of hours of access to Internet-enabled computers have been made available to community members who lack that access. With this new grant, we will be able to add more computers for job seeking and other activities and enhance our digital education curriculum to align with new technology skills sought by employers such as virtual work skills with at least 300 adults and 100 youth increasing their skills and readiness for today’s high tech workplaces.”
ULGM is among 47 nonprofit organizations Spectrum is supporting through its 2022 Spectrum Digital Education grant program, with a total of $1.1 million invested to support digital literacy in underserved rural and urban communities within Spectrum’s 41-state service area, including Wisconsin.
The application process for 2023 Spectrum Digital Education Grants is underway. For more information about the program go to https://corporate.charter.com/digital-education/grants.
Spectrum launched the program in 2017, recognizing that education and digital literacy are as important as affordability relative to a household’s lack of broadband services. Excluding this year’s awards, Charter has funded 99 nonprofit organizations, supporting more than 95,000 people in 22 states and Washington, D.C., through Spectrum Digital Education.