The AT&T Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AT&T Inc., recently announced a $1.6 million AT&T AccessAll grant to the National Urban League to support opportunities for technology-career development for African Americans.
The AT&T Foundation grant will launch five new Digital Career Academies, as well as expand offerings at 11 existing academies located across the country. The grant is part of the three-year $100 million AT&T AccessAll initiative to provide technology access to underserved communities.
“Many of the fastest-growing careers in America require computer skills and focus on the technology industry,” said National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial. “These Digital Career Academies will help us ensure that African Americans are prepared to compete successfully in today’s technology-driven job market.”
The Digital Career Academies program builds on the success of a 2004
AT&T Foundation grant initiative, which provided $1,070,000 to the National Urban League to launch the initial 11 technology career academies. Through the program, the National Urban League provided information-technology career training in computer and video-game programming, 3-D animation, digital radio and IT administration.
Under the 2006 grant, the 11 existing Digital Career Academies will continue to provide instruction in digital media and IT administration. The five new academy sites, which will be selected based on a competitive process open to National Urban League affiliates, will focus on video-game programming and IT administration career development. In addition, all 16 project sites will provide service offerings to include basic and intermediate technology-skills training, career counseling, internship and job placement support.
“In recent years, we have seen the job market demand a workforce that is increasingly technology-focused,” said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas. “Many jobs in technology offer individuals greater career opportunities and earning potential. The National Urban League’s Digital Career Academies program will help more African Americans find and secure technology opportunities.”
The 11 existing Digital Career Academies expanding their technology training programs under the AT&T Foundation grant include:
The AT&T Foundation supports nonprofit organizations and projects that increase inclusion and create opportunities for diverse populations. In 2005, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation contributed more than $21 million and supported nearly 800 organizations and programs that enrich and strengthen diverse communities nationwide.