Comcast today announced it is providing more than $1.1 million in cash and in-kind support to a new State of Colorado digital navigation program established by Senate Bill 22-140, as well as to several local Colorado community-based organizations as noted below. Comcast is supporting these initiatives as part of Project UP, the company’s comprehensive, one-billion-dollar initiative to advance digital equity. These resources will support the launch and scale of digital navigator and skills programs to assist individuals and families with resources to access the Internet and digital skills programs.
The announcement follows the launch of a nationwide study by the Boston Consulting Group, which found digital navigators are critical to helping close the digital divide and reduce socioeconomic inequalities by helping more people get online. Digital navigators are individuals affiliated with trusted community organizations who are trained to help people access the Internet, use devices, and learn digital skills.
The study surveyed 1,500 individuals across the country who received support from a digital navigator. Key findings include:
- More than 65 percent of survey respondents said they obtained Internet access or a computer or tablet at home; among Hispanic and Black Americans, this increased to 72 percent.
- More than 85 percent of all respondents said they used the Internet more frequently.
- Almost half surveyed obtained better healthcare, and 40 percent received support with basic needs like food, rent, and housing.
- 1 in 3 either found a new job, or earned a higher income.
Local governments and community organizations are closest to being able to serve those who need to be connected to the Internet. By empowering them with the resources they need to broaden their scope of work in digital equity, the possibilities are unlimited,” said Broderick Johnson, Executive Vice President, Public Policy and Executive Vice President, Digital Equity, at Comcast. “For more than a decade, Comcast has invested in communities to bridge the digital divide, and we are thrilled to support this new chapter of impact with Digital Navigators in Colorado. Our local partners throughout Colorado hold the key to making real transformative change happen for families across the state.”
This year, the Colorado General Assembly passed SB 22-140, establishing a statewide digital navigator program within the Department of Labor and Employment’s Office of Future of Work. The legislation was sponsored by: Sen. James Coleman, Sen. Bob Gardner, Rep. Barbara McLachlan, and Rep. Judy Amabile.
“To be fully connected as a society, we first have to get connected,” said State Sen. James Coleman, a prime sponsor of SB 22-140. “The state’s new digital navigation program, housed within the Department of Labor & Employment, will address some of the digital inequities many Coloradans experience, including access to digital technology and computer skills training, cybersecurity, and affordable internet service. Comcast has been at the forefront of addressing digital equity within Colorado for years, and their partnership is instrumental to our efforts to expand connectivity in our communities.”
“Having robust, reliable WiFi is key to fully participating in today’s digital society. Our kids and their parents need the digital tools and skills to do their homework, search for jobs, and access vital community services to achieve their future,” said Sonya Ulibarri, CEO of Girls Inc. of Metro Denver. “Partnering with experts in digital equity and connectivity, like Comcast, is critical to being able to support the people and communities we serve.”
Comcast Financial and In-kind Support for Local Colorado Organizations:
Through 2023, Comcast will provide more than $1.1 million in financial and in-kind support to local community programs to help advance digital equity. Comcast’s support enables 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. It will also help them develop the kinds of technology skills that can help them launch and grow their own businesses.
Organizations receiving support include:
- Anchor Center for Blind Children
- Boys & Girls Clubs (in many communities across the state)
- Cleo Parker Robinson Dance “STREAM” Technical Theater Program
- Colorado PBS12
- Community Computer Connection (C3)
- Denver Youth Empowerment Center
- Easterseals Colorado
- Entrepreneurship for All Longmont (EforAll)
- Girls Inc. of Metro Denver
- Mi Casa Resource Center
- Mile High United Way
- Office of the Future of Work – Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
- Sistahbiz Global Network
- Watson Institute
- Young Americans – Youth Biz: Technology Skills for Young Entrepreneurs