Comcast said Wednesday that its Internet Essentials program has teamed up with Goodwill Industries International to provide digital skills and workforce development training for thousands of low-income adults at Goodwill organizations across the U.S.
In addition, Comcast will install free WiFi access at Goodwill locations to allow people to go online to search for jobs, seek digital skill training certification programs to prepare for entry and mid-level occupations.
"Access to the internet offers a life-changing pathway for workers to get the skills they need to move up the economic ladder and prepare for the jobs of the future, but not everyone is capable of taking full advantage of the technology,” Comcast executive VP of public policy and EVP of digital equity Broderick Johnson said in a press release. “Greater internet adoption and increased digital skills will not only lead to higher paying jobs, but also make our country more competitive globally.”
Comcast said its investment will bring training and free WiFi to the following Goodwill locations nationwide: Palmetto Goodwill (Charleston, South Carolina); Goodwill South Florida (Miami); Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake (Baltimore); Goodwill Houston (Houston); Goodwill Easterseals Minnesota (Saint Paul, Minnesota); Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois and Wisconsin Stateline Area, Inc. (Rockford, Illinois); Goodwill Industries Knoxville (Knoxville, Tennessee); and Goodwill of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia (Maple Shade, New Jersey).
The company added that eight Goodwill organizations have been onboarded and two additional Goodwill markets will be named in the coming months.
“Goodwill has a long history of offering job seekers support that sets them up for success. From résumé building and interview preparation to connecting job seekers to local employers and community colleges, we provide a range of service to those in need of opportunities,” said Goodwill Industries International president and CEO Steven C. Preston, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “This partnership with Comcast will provide many Goodwill participants with free connectivity and discounted devices, which are essential for people to access training and basic support to move forward. Our partners at Comcast are helping us ensure that those job seekers can gain economic mobility and pursue new beginnings with confidence.”
The Goodwill partnership comes about a year after Comcast unveiled a multi-year program to launch more than 1,000 WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” in community centers nationwide, working with its network of nonprofit partners and city leaders. Lift Zone sites complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which in 10 years has helped connect a total of more than 10 million people with low incomes to the internet at home. ■
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Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.