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Spectrum Announces $75,000 in Grants to Further Digital Literacy in Kansas City



LaunchCode, Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas and
the Urban League of Greater Kansas City Receive Grants

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sept. 24, 2020 – Spectrum today announced three Kansas City-area nonprofits, LaunchCode, Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas and the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, will receive a Spectrum Digital Education Grant. Spectrum’s grants aim to further digital literacy in underserved populations within the Kansas City area. These grants are part of the company’s multi-year, $6 million cash and in-kind national commitment to digital education in Spectrum communities across the country.

“We thank LaunchCode, Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas and the Urban League of Greater Kansas City for being instrumental in helping us provide support for digital education in the Kansas City area,” said Rahman Khan, Vice President of Community Impact for Charter Communications, Inc., which operates the Spectrum brand of TV, Internet, Voice and Mobile products. “Through these organizations, we can continue to provide those in need with the resources to navigate the challenges of the digital age.”

Recipients of this year’s Spectrum Digital Education Grants range from long-standing nonprofits that continue to make a difference in local communities, to newer organizations meeting educational needs for children, including those experiencing homelessness and remote learning challenges.

LaunchCode Shifts to Virtual Training for Workforce Development

The $35,000 Spectrum Digital Education grant will help LaunchCode instruct students online and ensure they have the technology and internet access to keep up with virtual course materials. The funding will also provide training for mentors and allow for more virtual collaboration. Overall, the grant will support LaunchCode’s program modification from in-person to virtual classrooms, as well as assist individuals gain family-sustaining wages through in-demand tech careers. This is the third time LaunchCode has received a Spectrum Digital Education Grant.

"LaunchCode is thrilled to once again receive a Spectrum Digital Education Grant to support our free tech education and job placement programs in Kansas City," said Jeff Mazur, LaunchCode Executive Director. "The pandemic has changed the landscape of work drastically. Receiving this grant will allow us to equip even more individuals with the digital skills needed to enter the tech industry and achieve family-sustaining wages, while at the same time, supply companies with homegrown, local talent."

Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas Furthers Efforts in Response to COVID-19

The $20,000 grant will support a full-time Career Navigator who will dedicate their efforts to coordinate mobile lab visits with area partners, offering vital community services and digital workshops. The mobile lab serves areas without brick and mortar service organizations and minimal digital access. This program will help fulfill Goodwill’s Mission to assist local job seekers who are struggling to reenter the workforce as the economy recovers.

“The impact of COVID-19 has heightened the disparities in the digital divide in our communities.  This grant funding will support Goodwill’s efforts to provide households without broadband access the opportunity to use the resources of our mobile digital lab, and to provide training to those with limited digital skills as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Laura Ritterbush, Goodwill’s Chief Mission Officer.

The Urban League of Greater Kansas City Expands Digital Spectrum Academy

The $20,000 contribution marks the fourth time the Urban League of Greater Kansas City has received a Spectrum Digital Education Grant, furthering their mission to promote economic empowerment, equal opportunity, equity, and social justice. The organization’s outreach efforts play an even more important role during the current pandemic; and by connecting people to employment opportunities and training, as well as offering Digital Spectrum Academy classes, individuals can learn important skills to impact their lives and those around them.

“Thanks to Spectrum’s Digital Education Grant Program, our Digital Spectrum Academy provides hundreds of participants with skills, resources and the technology needed to succeed in this virtual world we are in,” said Gwendolyn Grant, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City. “With Spectrum’s ongoing investment in our efforts to bridge the digital divide, we can expand our focus on improving the lives of people in our community.”

Spectrum’s Community Support Targets Several Areas of Need
With this year’s grants, Spectrum has surpassed its multiyear commitment to award $6 million in cash and in-kind donations to support broadband education across the company’s 41-state service area. This year’s recipients are from 15 states and Washington, D.C., and were chosen from 259 eligible applications. Recipients include nonprofits working to empower disadvantaged residents in towns and cities, boost small businesses in rural areas, provide computer assistance to senior citizens, and organizations that meet educational needs for children — including those experiencing homelessness and remote learning challenges. Since its inception in 2017 through July 2020, Spectrum Digital Education has benefitted more than 41,000 individuals in 17 states and Washington, D.C.

Spectrum Digital Education is one of several philanthropic programs developed by Charter to support the communities in which Charter provides service and where its employees both live and work.  Additionally, Spectrum Housing Assist, launched in 2015 to make homes safer and healthier, has resulted in improvements to more than 44,000 homes to date and is on track to meet its goal of improving 50,000 homes by the end of 2020. Charter’s Spectrum Employee Community Grants program, launched in 2019 to support employees’ volunteer activities at local social and human services organizations, has already impacted more than 175 critical services organizations across 25 states.

This year, Charter announced the launch of the Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund, which will invest $10 million in capital by the end of 2021, making loans up to $1 million to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in the company’s footprint. In June, Charter announced additional investment partnerships with the National Urban League and National Action Network to support Black and other minority-owned small businesses. The addition of those partnerships increased Charter’s Loan Fund commitment to $13 million.

Finally, this spring, Charter introduced Spectrum Scholars, a two-year educational program for eligible rising juniors in financial need, that will award a total of $400,000 in scholarship aid, provide company mentors for students, as well as connecting them with potential internship opportunities at Charter.

About Spectrum

Spectrum is a suite of advanced communications services offered by Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), a leading broadband connectivity company and cable operator serving more than 30 million customers in 41 states. Over an advanced communications network, the company offers a full range of state-of-the-art residential and business services including Spectrum Internet®, TV, Mobile and Voice.  

For small and medium-sized companies, Spectrum Business® delivers the same suite of broadband products and services coupled with special features and applications to enhance productivity, while for larger businesses and government entities, Spectrum Enterprise provides highly customized, fiber-based solutions. Spectrum Reach® delivers tailored advertising and production for the modern media landscape. The company also distributes award-winning news coverage, sports and high-quality original programming to its customers through Spectrum Networks and Spectrum Originals. More information about Charter can be found at corporate.charter.com

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