Mayor’s Office of Employment Development’s Train Up Program to Receive 1,000 Laptops and One Year of Free Internet Essentials Service for Each Participant for the First Two Years of the Program
Comcast’s Internet Essentials program announced today a major workforce development initiative in Baltimore City that includes $200,000 in grants. In addition, the company began distributing 3,000 new laptops to multiple organizations across the city focused on education, workforce development and digital equity, including:
• Mayor’s Office of Employment Development
• Community College of Baltimore County
• Baltimore City Community College
• Baltimore’s Promise
• Catholic Charities of Baltimore
• Center for Urban Families
• Grassrootz (Gro-Charity)
• Liberty Village Project
• Digital Harbor High School
On November 11, 2021, the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) was the first partner to announce its $30,000 workforce development grant and a donation of laptops from Comcast. The grant will help students who lack resources through the college’s Student Emergency Aid Fund while the laptops will go to students enrolled in CCBC certificate and adult literacy education programs. CCBC serves 50,000 students of which more than half are continuing education, adult learners. CCBC will also be helping to drive awareness of the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit to enrolled students, allowing eligible students to receive free or steeply discounted Internet service at home.
“With free and low-cost Internet available to every Baltimorean, we need to collectively focus on driving broadband adoption by ensuring everyone has the know-how and tools to get online,” said Michael Parker, senior vice president for Comcast’s Beltway Region. “Education at every level is critical and our workforce development grants and laptop donations will help ensure that adults entering the workforce have the tools, skills and confidence to find employment and succeed.”
Research shows that low-income students and their families face numerous broadband adoption challenges, including housing insecurity, literacy challenges, language barriers, and lack of digital skills training. As a result, Comcast’s digital equity efforts have been designed to address as many of these challenges as possible, including offering low-cost broadband Internet at home; the option to purchase a heavily subsidized, affordable computer; access to free WiFi in community centers nationwide; and numerous options to acquire the digital skills necessary to navigate distance learning and use the Internet.