NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 1999The National Urban League today announced the expansion of its Digital Campus program, a system of community technology learning centers, to nine new cities with the aid of a $550,000 grant from the GTE Foundation. It is the largest multi-city expansion in the programs history.
GTEs grant, to be paid over three years, will support Digital Campuses in key GTE markets: Dallas, Texas; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Lexington, Ky.; Madison, Wis.; Muskegon, Mich.; Portland, Ore.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; and Seattle, Wash. The GTE grant brings the total number of funded Urban League Digital Campus sites to 72.
The Leagues Digital Campus for Information and Technology Literacy program brings entry-level information and technology literacy skills to low-income communities. It aims to bridge the "digital divide"the gap in computer ownership and access between minority and non-minority communities.
"Computer access and literacy are growing as key elements of the haves and have-nots in a society that each day places significant emphasis on technology," National Urban League President Hugh B. Price said. "GTE is to be commended for its commitment to helping bridge the digital divide and ensuring that all members of society are prepared to compete in the digital economy of the 21st century."
"This grant is an extension of GTEs national focus on literacy," said GTE Chairman and CEO Charles R. Lee "Like the Urban League, GTE believes that computer literacy opens the door to job opportunities in the information age. We are proud to partner with the National Urban League to support the Digital Campus program and bring computer instruction to members of our communities who can benefit from it."
GTEs grant will provide each center with 42 networked computers and more than 50 packaged computer courses. The grant also provides a high-speed Internet connection and Internet access for online research and programs. Sites that already have a networked computer training center will receive online courses, training and support.
A recent report from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that community tech centers are key access points to technology for residents in low-income communities. Through the auspices of corporations such as GTE and other donors, the League hopes to have community tech centers up and running at all 115 of its affiliates nationwide.
The GTE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of GTE Corporation, is one of the largest corporate contributors in the United States, providing $30 million in 1999 to charitable and educational institutions on behalf of GTE and its thousands of employees. More information on GTE and the GTE Foundation is available at http://www.gte.com.
Founded in 1910, the National Urban League is the premier social service and civil rights organization in America. The League is a nonprofit, non-partisan, community-based movement, headquartered in New York City with professionally staffed affiliates in 115 cities in 35 states and the District of Columbia. More information about the League is available at www.nul.org.
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