Lift Zones provide safe spaces where students and adults can access the Internet
September 15, 2021– Comcast today announced the launch of new WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” at two south suburban Cook County locations. Lift Zones are safe spaces where children can get online to do schoolwork and adults can get online to learn new digital skills, search for employment and access an array of services. The new zones are located at:
- Cornerstone Community Development Corporation, 943 E. Lincoln Hwy., Ford Heights, IL
- Harold Colbert Jones Memorial Community Center, 220 E. 15th, Chicago Heights, IL
The COVID-19 crisis put many low-income students and families at risk of being left behind and accelerated the need for comprehensive digital equity and Internet adoption programs to support them. The Lift Zones are part of a larger multiyear plan by Comcast to support community-organization-based WiFi at more than 1,000 Lift Zones throughout the country – including in the Chicago area. The Lift Zones also are an extension of the company’s longstanding commitment to help connect low-income families to the Internet and provide resources to help them take advantage of educational opportunities and the digital economy. The Lift Zones complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, a low-cost Internet adoption program for low-income families, which has helped connect more than 10 million people in America – including more than 1 million in Illinois alone – to the Internet at home since it was launched in 2011. Lift Zones also complement the Internet Essentials Partnership Program (IEPP), through which Comcast partners with school districts, housing authorities and other organizations to provide Internet service at home to eligible low-income households. Locally, the Housing Authority of Cook County, Chicago Public Schools, through Chicago Connected, School District U-46 in Chicago’s northwest suburbs and more than 70 other districts in the region are participating in the IEPP.
“Internet connectivity and digital skills are crucial in every aspect of our lives, from school to work and accessing government services, to entertainment and communications. Our economic future depends on the ability of children to access the Internet and develop skills that will help them succeed in school and prepare for tomorrow’s workplace,” said Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. “We appreciate Comcast’s continued investment in Cook County communities and in programs designed to close the digital divide.”
“Through Internet Essentials, Comcast has helped hundreds of thousands of Illinois families cross the digital divide,” said Matthew Summy, Comcast’s Regional Vice President of External and Government Affairs. “I’m proud that Comcast recognized the impact of the digital divide early on, stepped up and now continues to offer solutions that further our commitment to communities through the creation of Lift Zones.”
Comcast continues to offer, through June 30, 2022, all new Internet Essentials customers two months of free Internet service. Comcast also continues to extend free access to its 1.5 million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots to anyone who needs them, including non-customers, through the end of 2021. These hotspots are located in public places, ranging from small businesses and parks to transportation hubs, and are in addition to the Lift Zones.
Lastly, Comcast’s Internet Essentials program also makes a range of educational resources available online for anyone to access at www.internetessentials.com/learning. The Learning Portal provides videos and materials about topics, including: Internet Basics, Online Safety and Security, Building New Skills and Getting Things Done. The site also links to a number of free educational websites for students.
About Cornerstone Community Development Corporation
Founded in 1968, Cornerstone Community Development Corporation is a minority, community based not-for-profit organization, located in Ford Heights, IL. Cornerstone’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the underprivileged and to assist vulnerable populations in times of crisis, emphasizing emergency, supportive and educational services to individuals and families until they stabilize.
Cornerstone employs an integrated, one-stop center model to abate the issues of homelessness, hunger, unemployment and poverty that plague our surrounding communities. Core areas of service include: Homelessness Prevention, Anti-Hunger Initiatives, and Vocational Training/Job Creation, focusing on family stabilization, life skills training and workforce development.
About the Harold Colbert Jones Memorial Community Center
The Jones Center’s mission is to strengthen family ties, emphasize the worth of God’s children and answer a community need. The Jones Center has been serving the community since 1917.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
With nearly 6,000 local employees, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region
(https://chicago.comcast.com) serves customers in central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan. “Like” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Facebook by visiting @Comcast. “Follow” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Twitter at @ComcastIllinois.