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AT&T Launches 'Believe Cleveland' Initiative With More Than $350,000 Pledged

by AT&T
CLEVELAND -- As part of its longstanding commitment to the City of Cleveland, AT&T is launching a new program designed to improve digital literacy and technology-based learning. Believe Cleveland will help residents enhance their computer and internet skills in order to improve job prospects and career pathways while encouraging constructive online behaviors and digital civic engagement.

In addition to the launch of Believe Cleveland, AT&T has committed to introduce its mobile 5G network to Cleveland area customers in early 2020. This commitment extends AT&T's plans to offer 5G to parts of 30 cities. AT&T's 5G network is already live in parts of 19 of those cities today; Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Louisville, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Waco.

"Digital literacy is essential in today's economy, and we don't want anyone in Cleveland to be left behind," said Adam Grzybicki, President AT&T Ohio and Great Lakes States. "The ability to effectively communicate online in our digital age - can impact so many aspects of a person's life – whether it's education, jobs or health care. We're committed to helping the community because we live here too. And, I'm also thrilled to share that Cleveland was just today added to our growing list of cities with 5G expected by early in 2020."

"One of the goals – both for the DeWine-Husted Administration, and for InnovateOhio – is to make Ohio the most innovative, creative state in the Midwest. Part of doing that is making sure people and businesses have access to the best-available technologies, and private-sector investment like this, helps us move towards that goal," said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. "I am grateful to AT&T for their continued commitment to the City of Cleveland. Their announcement today will make this city the first city in Ohio to enjoy the benefits of this upgrade."

"With the impact of 5G technology there is an expectation that digital literacy and technology-based learning will someday improve," said Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson. "Believe Cleveland is a necessary investment that will benefit everyone in our community."

AT&T kicked off Believe Cleveland today with financial commitments from the AT&T Foundation to the following organizations:

  • The Urban League of Greater Cleveland has received $100,000 to help create an accelerated technology training program that includes job readiness workshops, resources and connections to resolve other barriers to work, classes that lead to certifications or licenses, paid work-based experiences and stable employment.
  • Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will utilize its $100,000 for certificate training programs for unemployed adults and scholarship opportunities for tech-based fields including block chain and Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Digital C received $100,000 for an in-depth, comprehensive neighborhood analysis of internet adoption and training needs.

In addition to the initial $300,000 for these three nonprofits, AT&T is contributing $55,000 in funding to several other Cleveland organizations. Details regarding those commitments – as well as local employee volunteerism efforts and more collaborations in the pipeline will be announced throughout the year.

"We've seen firsthand how improved digital literacy, broadband adoption and technology-based learning can help people access the opportunities they deserve to succeed in life," said Marsha Mockabee, President/CEO of the Urban League of Greater Cleveland. "AT&T has been a tremendous collaborator of ours for years, and we're excited to work with them to pursue a shared passion."

"AT&T has been making a positive impact on Cleveland for many years, so it's great to see this expanded commitment to being engaged in the community," said Victor Ruiz, Executive Director of Esperanza Inc., who hosted AT&T at his nonprofit today. "We look forward to working closely with the company and its employee volunteers to address a significant challenge here."

AT&T invested more than $325 million in our Cleveland wireless and wired networks during 2015-2017. These investments boosted reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for residents and businesses. They also improved critical services that support public safety and first responders.

Believe Cleveland is an extension of AT&T Believes, a larger company-wide initiative, which aims to create positive change in local communities. To learn more about AT&T Believes initiatives across the country, please click here.


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