The NCTA Foundation: A Catalyst for Change
Recently, we announced our new brand, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, to reflect the industry we represent and the ever-changing future ahead of us. In line with this change, today we announced another strategic shift in how NCTA is evolving as an organization as its foundation delves into its first year of grant-making. To further its support of community development and underserved populations, the new NCTA Foundation has awarded $325,000 in grants and formed partnerships with three Washington, D.C., area nonprofits–A Wider Circle, Byte Back, Inc., and BUILD Metro DC–dedicated to providing technology-charged opportunities for local families and young people.
“These partnership grants are designed to either jump-start promising programs or super-charge existing initiatives,” said NCTA Foundation Executive Director David Pierce. “This set of successful and effective non-profits will make ideal partners for our initial efforts to support and reflect our industry’s commitment to corporate social responsibility.”
A Wider Circle has plans to use its grant to build a new computer lab and bring in new projectors, TV screens, and various technology resources to help with training and readying more people for the workforce. The aim of A Wider Circle is to break the cycle of poverty, and being able to offer technology and digital training for people seeking employment is one way to do that. “There is a difference between caring and commitment. This gift is a commitment, and we’re honored to partner with the NCTA Foundation in our quest to end poverty,” said Mark Bergel, founder and executive director of A Wider Circle.
Similarly, the goal at Byte Back is to provide technology classes and career assistance to help D.C. residents obtain jobs that pay a living wage. With the NCTA Foundation grant, Byte Back will create a video production studio and virtual classroom in order to expand its course offerings to include media and video production training as well as distance learning classes for people who can’t make it to class due to child care or transportation challenges. “With the virtual classroom, we’ll be able to reach our students in ways we couldn’t before, whether it’s with items they’re struggling with, homework, and much more–they’ll have videos they can watch and replay. It will truly expand our impact,” said Byte Back Executive Director Elizabeth Lindsey.
And at BUILD Metro DC, which serves students at seven high schools in the District, entrepreneurship-based, experiential learning ignites students’ potential and equips them for high school, college and career success. The grant will be used to provide students with coding, web, and graphic design training that will help them launch their own digitally-based businesses and better prepare them for their futures. “It’s super exciting to be able to bring something totally new to our students and to prepare them for the 21st century, for jobs that are technology-based, and to give them a leg up in their college and career readiness. Without this grant, we wouldn’t be able to do that,” said Bryce Jacobs, regional executive director for BUILD Metro DC.
The NCTA Foundation is thrilled to act as a catalyst for these three organizations. We look forward to the opportunities that will open up as a result of the new technology resources that will be accessible to these communities. As NCTA President & CEO Michael Powell said of the new partnerships, “The explosion in broadband and digital services generated by the companies we represent, has been immensely beneficial to the lives of most Americans. We’re working to continue to extend these benefits to even more groups and individuals, and to harness the broadband revolution for the public good.”
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