Comcast Awards Miami Dade College $100,000 Grant for Digital Browser Program

MIAMI, FL – JULY 12: Madeline Pumariega, President of Miami-Dade College, speaks onstage as Comcast partners with Miami Dade College to launch South Florida’s first-of-its-kind digital browsing program at the Miami Dade College on July 12, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Comcast)

Comcast and Miami-Dade College (MDC) are working together to launch a new program designed to increase digital equity in South Florida communities. Comcast announced Tuesday that it is giving the college a $100,000 grant as part of its digital adoption initiative.

Funding from the grant will be used to teach MDC students to become digital navigators, individuals affiliated with trusted community organizations who are trained to help people access the internet, use devices and develop digital skills. . Upon completion of their training, new MDC Digital Navigators will begin working in South Florida communities with low digital adoption. Members of community organizations will also be trained to become digital instructors to deliver digital literacy courses to their clients and communities.

Miami-Dade County is estimated to have the third highest percentage of households without an internet subscription (20.5%),* making it necessary to increase access to digital literacy in underserved and underserved areas. -developed.

“It’s very exciting to see Miami-Dade County being recognized as a hub of technology development, innovation and creativity, but there are too many people in our community who are still unable to to take full advantage of digital resources,” Miami-Dade said. County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “We are grateful for Comcast’s support to help improve digital adoption and build digital literacy skills in our community – and nowhere better to host this initiative than Miami Dade College, which is committed to fostering the ‘digital equity’.

“Solving complex issues plaguing our communities, like digital inequality and lack of internet access, requires collaboration and ingenuity,” said Madeline Pumariega, president of Miami Dade College. “Miami Dade College is proud to work with Comcast, one of the world’s largest technology companies, on the new Digital Navigators program. This unique initiative gives our students the opportunity to not only learn more about a real-world problem, but to immediately use their newly acquired knowledge and skills to help solve it in their communities. »

Scheduled to launch this fall, the Digital Navigators program will provide participating students with the tools to bridge the digital divide in unconnected neighborhoods and households, including instruction from highly trained digital instructors, free classes, hours of service learning program and a $250 stipend. Students will show residents how they can go online to discover and access essential resources and benefits, including food support, government assistance programs, job opportunities and more.

The funding follows the announcement of a national study by the Boston Consulting Group, which found that digital browsers are key to closing the digital divide and reducing socio-economic inequality by helping more people get online.

The study surveyed 1,500 people across the country who received support from a digital navigator. With the support of these digital social workers:

  • Over 65% of survey respondents said they obtained internet access or a computer or tablet at home; among Hispanics and Black Americans, that figure rose to 72%.
  • More than 85 percent of all respondents said they used the Internet more frequently.
  • Almost half interviewed got better health careand 40 percent received support for basic needs such as food, rent and housing.
  • 1 of 3 found a new job Where earned a higher income.

“Since we launched our Internet Essentials program more than a decade ago, we knew that providing internet access for unconnected homes was just the beginning,” said Javier Garcia, senior vice president of sales. and marketing from Comcast in Florida. “Making sure people understand how to get the most out of all that the internet has to offer is just as essential. Now, with the Digital Navigators program, we are taking another important step to engage directly with those in need and continue to make progress in bridging the digital divide.

Digital Navigators is part of Project UP, Comcast’s global, billion-dollar initiative to advance digital equity over the next ten years and reach millions with the skills, opportunities and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.

*Data from FIU Jorge M Perez Metropolitan Center, “South Florida’s Digital Divide”. Updated May 2020.


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Ryan H. Bowman