(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The City of Colorado Springs, in partnership with Comcast, will host a “Bridging the Digital Divide” event on Monday, March 20 to honor local workforce development programs and graduates.

According to a press release from the City, Comcast plans to award free laptops to participants who recently graduated from workforce development programs from three local organizations which provide workforce training: Community Works—Colorado Springs, Heart to Heart Academy—CNA School, and HSD2 Adult Education, a program of Harrison School District 2.

“The City’s Economic Development Division has a focus on economic vitality in Southeast Colorado Springs,” said Bob Cope, the City’s Economic Development Officer. “One aspect that the City is intently working on is bridging the digital divide. This includes access to devices, access to the internet, and connecting citizens to computer literacy education programs.”

In addition, the City said Comcast will honor two additional organizations which provide access to internet and other digital resources through their community work: the Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region and YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region.

Those two organizations, along with three who support workforce development, each will receive a $5,000 grant to purchase needed technology, equipment, and/or hire staff to enhance the quality of in-class programs and services offered to community members. Examples could include in-class laptops, desktop computers, printers, software, and/or other technology-based devices.

“Access to a reliable, secure Internet connection is vital to navigating our increasingly digital world,” said J.D. Keller, Sr. Vice President Comcast Mountain West Region. “Our long-standing partnership with the City of Colorado Springs and the community organizations throughout the City ensures more people are connected to what matters most to them.”

“Currently, the City wants to find ways to address the digital divide, specifically for both Southeast-based organizations who provide workforce training, and the residents who participate,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. “Our City is strategically focused on job creation in Colorado Springs. Our Economic Development team works to support efforts that provide residents with workforce training, career skills, easier access to apply for good jobs, and an overall increase in their quality of life. Partnering with Comcast in support of this effort brings a tangible boost to our job-seeking residents.”  

Also at the event, Comcast plans to introduce options for all program graduates and community members to gain access to low-cost, or potentially no-cost, high-speed internet at their home.

The event will take place at 5 p.m. at the Southeast YMCA, 2190 Jet Wing Drive.