As part of its ongoing commitment to digital equity, workforce development, and work readiness skills, Comcast today announced the launch of a new “Lift Zone” at Saint Rest Baptist Church, surprising 200 families with free laptops, and investing $200,000 to bring digital equity to the Valley.
This new Lift Zone will provide free WiFi access, powered by a Comcast Business solution, to help connect youth and their families, seniors, and community members to the Internet so they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy. With this new location, Comcast has now established 16 Lift Zones in Fresno County—and a total of more than 150 Lift Zones throughout its California service area.
Comcast also donated $25,000 to Saint Rest Baptist Church to help create a new computer lab as well as provide digital literacy training to students, families, seniors, and community members within Fresno. Earlier this year, Comcast also invested $1 million to expand its network to Biola, CA, a rural community in Fresno County, along with opening a Lift Zone at the Biola Community Services District.
Through these significant investments and supply of reliable WiFi service at multiple educational and community spaces, in addition to homes and businesses, Comcast has helped thousands get online, bringing the Central Valley a step closer to eliminating the digital divide.
Additionally, Comcast announced today at an event with tech apprentices a $200,000 investment in Bitwise Impact, a 501(c)(3) to provide paid apprenticeships to learn technology skills and connect to meaningful technology opportunities in the Central Valley. The donation will help these organizations continue their impactful work in Fresno
“For years, Comcast has shown its commitment to supporting low-income families and our community by ensuring they have access to an affordable, fast and reliable Internet connection,” said Pastor D.J. Criner, Pastor of Saint Rest Baptist Church. “We’re proud to partner with Comcast on the opening of this Lift Zone and look forward to the positive benefits it will bring to our Saint Rest community.”
“Comcast’s significant investment in Fresno will expand workforce development initiatives and shows their commitment to connecting those who have largely been underserved with life-changing opportunities in tech,” said Irma Olguin Jr., board member, Bitwise Impact. “Today’s announcement, and continued Comcast support, will increase access to tech training that supports small businesses, creates future leaders and entrepreneurs from individuals who otherwise would not have seen the tech industry as a place for them.”
“Our continued partnership with the St. Rest Baptist Church community and Bitwise is part of our constant work here in Fresno, in which we’re striving to advance digital equity and workforce readiness in communities across the Central Valley,” said Broderick Johnson, EVP, Digital Equity and EVP, Public Policy, Comcast Corporation. “The opening of this new Lift Zone and computer lab at St. Rest and our $200,000 donation to Bitwise allows us to support students, seniors, and families and provide them with the tools, skills, and resources they need to get connected and achieve their goals.”
Today’s announcement and donation is part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to reach millions of people with the tools, resources, and skills needed to succeed in a digital world. Comcast’s award-winning Lift Zones program complements the Internet Essentials program, which since 2011, has helped connect more than 10 million low-income people to the Internet at home. In California, Comcast has connected more than 1.7 million residents, making it the number one state in terms of overall participation in the Internet Essentials program.
Lastly, Comcast continues to be a proud participant in the Federal Government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides eligible people up to $30/per month credit toward their Internet and mobile services. New and existing Xfinity Internet or Internet Essentials customers can learn more about the program and sign up by visiting: https://www.xfinity.com/learn/internet-service/acp/free-internet
Watch this video to relive the Saint Rest Lift Zone Launch with us: