Lift Zones Will Provide Safe Spaces with Free Internet to Help Low-Income Students, Adults, Seniors and Veterans Participate in Distance Learning and Online Programming
Pottstown, PA – July 26, 2021 – Comcast announced it is equipping YWCA’s Adams Street location with WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” as part of its ongoing commitment to help students and adults get online, participate in distance learning or remote work, do homework or look for and apply for jobs. Working with YWCA, Comcast is providing robust WiFi solution that will help hundreds of people get online.
Two of YWCA’s programs, Adult Education and Training Center and AmeriCorps DAWN, are utilizing the lift zones to better accommodate their students and volunteers. Adult education at YWCA empowers adult learners in building a strong foundation for workplace success. Instructors are educated, experienced, and supportive in the YWCA mission of treating every student with dignity & respect. AmeriCorps DAWN provides wrap-around social services support to disadvantaged adults and opportunity youth in the Pottstown and Norristown regions. The goal of the DAWN program is to increase employability (job placement, job skills development, reducing barriers to employment, etc.) and to assist clients in reaching self-sufficiency.
Along with YWCA, Comcast is also servicing Palm Center for Positive Energy Lower Merion, Montgomery County Opportunities Industrialization Center, Variety Children’s Charity, and North Hills Community Center.
“Some of our students do not have access to Internet at home, or may only have cell phones, so these Lift Zones from Comcast are giving them the capability to connect with us for their virtual classes with the laptops in our center. We have also experienced more reliable Internet service, which helps keep the flow of learning going for our students,” said Veronica Barna, Senior Director, Adult Education and Training Center.
“Thanks to our Lift Zone from Comcast, our AmeriCorps DAWN members had the Internet service they needed to be able to provide members of the community with virtual tax preparation assistance so they could file their taxes quickly and safely,” said Terridina Marshall, AmeriCorps DAWN Program Coordinator. “In addition, our Education and Training Department within the DAWN Program was able to provide Digital Literacy Workshop Trainings – using multiple forms of technology without issue.”
Marshall adds, “We are grateful for the help of Comcast’s Lift Zone initiative and hope that we can continue to work together in eliminating the barrier of technology that many members in the community face.”
In March, Comcast announced a $1 billion commitment over 10 years in continued support of digital equity, including its Lift Zones initiative, which aims to establish WiFi-connected spaces in 1,000+ community centers nationwide for students and adults by the end of 2021.
Lift Zones complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which has helped connect a cumulative total of 10 million low-income people to the Internet at home since 2011, including more than 35,500 in Montgomery County. Working with its network of nonprofit partners, Comcast is providing free WiFi hotspot connectivity in community centers with access to hundreds of hours of digital skills content to help families and site coordinators navigate online learning. Comcast has already launched more than 100 Lift Zones across Greater Philadelphia and New Jersey.
YWCA Tri-County Area serves more than 1,500 women, girls, and families annually through early childhood education, youth empowerment programming, adult education, workforce development, and a Foster Grandparents Program. Mission-based advocacy efforts raise awareness, offer issue education, and build social capital around women’s empowerment, racial and social justice, and safe and healthy communities.