MILWAUKEE (May 10, 2022) – Spectrum today joined with local officials and leaders from Digital Bridge of Milwaukee and YWCA Southeast Wisconsin to present two Spectrum Digital Education grants totaling $40,000 to further efforts to close the digital divide across Milwaukee, as part of its five-year, $7 million commitment to digital education in Spectrum communities across the country.
Digital Bridge of Milwaukee received a $25,000 grant and will use the funding to further its Bridge Milwaukee Program, a workshop series promoting digital literacy and affordable broadband for under-served residents in Milwaukee. The program bridges a divide for low-income families by removing barriers to digital inclusion — affordable home broadband access, access to devices, digital skills training and technical support. Program participants emerge better able to access educational and economic opportunities. Since the inception Digital Bridge has received $112,500 from Spectrum through the Digital Education Grant program, including first-year funding that was used to support the development of the Bridge Milwaukee program.
YWCA SEW has established a long-standing partnership with Digital Bridge by hosting Bridge Milwaukee workshops at its facility, providing clients with access to refurbished computers and instruction on set-up and affordable broadband access to ensure they have the skills and devices necessary to engage long-term in our increasingly digital society.
YWCA SEW’s separate $15,000 grant supports its job center, where community members access equipment like computers, printers, and copiers and receive chairside support for everything from resume development, online applications, appointment management and support with establishing and understanding personal digital access.
“We applaud Digital Bridge and YWCA SEW for their broadband education initiatives and for helping us support efforts that promote digital literacy in the Milwaukee community,” said Rahman Khan, Vice President of Community Impact for Charter Communications, Inc., which operates the Spectrum brand of broadband connectivity products. “Through this partnership with these established community organizations, the Spectrum Digital Education program is able to bring essential resources to those in need, and we look forward to working with them on these transformative projects.”
Checks were presented today, following a Bridge Milwaukee session hosted at YWCA Southeast Wisconsin. where participants took home their new computers.
“We appreciate Spectrum’s continued support for our program,” said Jeff Hanson, Executive Director of Digital Bridge. “Our four-year partnership has enabled us to establish new approaches when it comes to getting more community members access to the devices and literacy training they need.”
Jennifer de Montmollin, Chief Program Officer for YWCA SEW noted, “The COVID pandemic created an urgent need for our clients who suddenly needed to work and learn remotely. Spectrum’s investment in YWCA Southeast Wisconsin provides critical digital access and related skills development support for community members and program participants who look to us for guidance as they navigate the business of life. We’re grateful for Spectrum’s support of our work to build a more just and equitable region.”
“I applaud Spectrum, Digital Bridge of Milwaukee and YWCA SEW for their continued partnership and commitment to Milwaukee,” said state Sen. La Tonya Johnson. “Addressing access and affordability barriers is a priority for me, and seeing the progress these partners are making demonstrates what’s possible when organizations come together in the best interests of our community.”
Digital Bridge of Milwaukee and YWCA SEW are two of 49 nonprofit organizations that Spectrum is supporting through 2021 Spectrum Digital Education grants. Since launching Spectrum Digital Education in 2017, Spectrum has donated $7 million in cash and in-kind contributions for digital literacy programs reaching nearly 70,000 people in 20 states and Washington, D.C. More information about Spectrum Digital Education is available here.
Spectrum sponsors several philanthropic programs in addition to Spectrum Digital Education, including Spectrum Scholars, a scholarship for under-represented college juniors in financial need; Spectrum Employee Community Grants, which supports Charter employees’ local volunteer activities; and the Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund, which supports small and minority-owned businesses whose goods and services help meet core needs in financially underserved communities within the company’s footprint. More information about Charter’s philanthropic initiatives is available here.
To learn more about Digital Bridge or to support their continued outreach efforts visit https://www.digitalbridge.ngo/ or contact Jeff Hanson at (608) 751-9139. To learn more about YWCA SEW’s economic empowerment programs, including its job center, personal financial managment and adult education services visit www.ywcasew.org. To learn more about Spectrum Digital Education, visit https://corporate.charter.com/digital-education.