Funding to Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama and Village of Promise will help local youth prepare for the workplace
Comcast announced yesterday that it has awarded $20,000 in grants to two Huntsville, Alabama, nonprofits to support digital skills development and career readiness programs. The Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama (BGCNAL) and Village of Promise in Huntsville received $10,000 in grants to support programs designed to help young people build digital skills and explore careers in technology.
A recent National Skills Coalition report found that one-third of U.S. workers don’t have the foundational digital skills they need to enter and thrive in today’s workforce, pointing to a significant digital skills gap. The report also found that closing the digital skills divide can increase workers’ income and reduce costs for employers associated with workforce turnover.
“Everyone should have access to the tools and skills to thrive in today’s digitally connected world,” said Jason Gumbs, Comcast Regional Senior Vice President. “Comcast is proud to support our partners and efforts to close the digital skills divide, leading to a brighter future for youth in North Alabama.”
Village of Promise’s mission is to advance families out of the cycle of poverty by using a multi-generational approach. Comcast’s grant will support the organization’s Family Engagement Digital Literacy Program, which provides monthly digital skills technology classes to underserved families. The courses teach computer skills and provide instruction on various software applications. Parents will benefit by learning how to access their child’s school portal, where they can communicate with teachers, keep up with homework assignments and other work and view grades. Participants will also learn how to apply for jobs online.
“We’re grateful for our long-term partnership with Comcast,” said Dana M. Gillis, CEO of Village of Promise. “The company’s continued support has allowed us to equip hundreds of Huntsville residents with the skills they need to thrive in an increasingly digital world.”
The BGCNAL award will fund a new Virtual Reality Career Exploration Program at its Cavalry Club location. Program participants will use virtual reality headsets to learn about various technology careers, from network technician and electrician to utility tower construction. Participants will also learn digital and technical skills, ranging from how to use computers and other devices to Internet literacy and coding.
“The Virtual Reality Career Exploration Program provides leaders of tomorrow with tangible, engaging pathways toward meaningful careers in technology,” said Patrick Wynn, President of BGCNAL. “We can’t thank Comcast enough for its continuing support for our work to close the digital skills divide and build Huntsville’s next-generation workforce.”
Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, representing the state’s District 53, joined leaders from Comcast and the two nonprofits for the grant announcement.
“Huntsville is home to a variety of high-tech companies. Our young people need digital skills to succeed in school and position themselves for high-tech jobs,” said Representative Daniels. “These programs will help our young people while also positively impacting the Huntsville economy and the quality of life in the district going forward.”
Today’s grant announcement is part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to advance digital equity and help create a future of unlimited possibilities.