Kankakee Area YMCA Receives $7,500 Grant from Comcast to Advance Digital Equity Through Skills Training

Teen Employment Readiness Program supports digital skills training and helps students for the workforce of today and tomorrow

July 13, 2023 — The Kankakee Area YMCA today announced that it received a $7,500 grant from Comcast to support its Teen Employment Readiness program, which teaches high school and college students digital skills that will help them prepare and compete for internship and employment opportunities.

A recent National Skills Coalition (NSC) report found that 90 percent of jobs in Illinois require digital skills; yet, one-third of U.S. workers don’t have the foundational digital skills they need to enter and thrive in today’s workforce. Together, these findings point to a significant digital skills divide. The report also found that closing the digital skills divide can increase workers’ income and reduce costs for employers associated with workforce turnover.

“The Kankakee Area YMCA is working to help people make changes in their lives and in their community,” said Will Welsh, CEO of Kankakee Area YMCA. “We’re thankful to Comcast for its support and for helping us advance the digital equity movement by equipping our youth with the skills they need to succeed in our ever-changing digital world.”

The grant is part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to advance digital equity and help create a future of unlimited possibilities. One of Project UP’s centerpieces is Internet Essentials, a low-cost Internet adoption program for eligible low-income households, which has helped more than 1.6 million people in Illinois connect to the Internet at home since it launched in 2011.

“Comcast is working to bring broadband service to even more Illinois communities. But that’s just one part of the solution,” said Kaleshia Page, Comcast’s Community Relations Director in Kankakee County. “Digitals skills training will help residents prepare for and take advantage of educational and job opportunities that broadband connectivity makes possible. Organizations like the Kankakee Area YMCA are vital to reaching people in these communities and helping them build digital skills.”

Page also noted that the “Affordable Connectivity Program” (ACP), a federal digital equity initiative, provides eligible low-income households a credit of up to $30 a month toward the cost of Internet and/or mobile phone services, including all of Comcast’s Xfinity Internet and Xfinity Mobile plans, as well as Internet Essentials. For more information, visit www.xfinity.com/ACP.

About Kankakee Area YMCA

The YMCA’s mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

The Kankakee Area YMCA is more than just a gym. It’s a movement of thousands of people making positive changes in their lives and their community. The YMCA serves people from various walks of life, strengthening spirit, mind, and body and improving physical well-being in a healthy and friendly environment. The YMCA is Kankakee’s premier provider of family health and wellness.

The Y is the starting point for many youths to learn about becoming and staying active while developing healthy habits they’ll carry with them throughout their lives. These benefits are far greater than just physical health, for they impact all aspects of daily living.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company. From the connectivity and platforms we provide, to the content and experiences we create, our businesses reach hundreds of millions of customers, viewers, and guests worldwide. We deliver world-class broadband, wireless, and video through Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky; produce, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through brands including NBC, Telemundo, Universal, Peacock, and Sky; and bring incredible theme parks and attractions to life through Universal Destinations & Experiences. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

About Comcast Greater Chicago Region

With around 5,000 local employees, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region (https://chicago.comcast.com) serves customers in central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northern 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.


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