Pittsburgh, PA (April 15, 2021) — Comcast and the National Urban League have been longstanding partners and have announced a two-year grant of $200,000 to support the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s Urban Tech 2.0 program.
While technology may be the fastest growing industry in the state of Pennsylvania, it continues to suffer a severe diversity problem, especially when it comes to Black Americans in Pittsburgh. African Americans continue to be under-represented in this industry, for example, constituting only 1% of the local information technology workforce compared to 7% nationally. When tech companies do hire, few of the jobs are going to workers of color. The National Urban League’s 2018 State of Black America® found that of the 40,000 employees of four major Silicon Valley technology firms, only 1,000 were Black.
Comcast’s support for the Urban Tech 2.0 program helps the Urban League prepare and connect unemployed and underemployed working-aged adults with household-sustaining work opportunities in southwestern Pennsylvania’s flourishing tech sector. To date, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s Urban Tech 2.0 program has 45 enrolled participants with 22 in advanced training, and an ultimate goal of placing no fewer than 13 of them in paid technology apprenticeships leading to employment per year during the two-year funding period.
“Comcast has proven to be a dedicated and thoughtful partner in the Urban League Movement nationally and locally and a very loyal supporter of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s technology initiatives. Over a decade of support from Comcast has strengthened our STEM after school programs, has helped the Urban League advocate for a level playing field for all Americans and now – through the Urban Tech 2.0 partnership – has propelled us into a position to tackle the digital divide head-on,” said Victoria Goins, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Vice President of Programs and Services.
Said Lisa Birmingham, Vice President, External and Government Affairs, for Comcast’s Keystone Region, “As the National Urban League makes clear, it’s imperative that we create new opportunities for underserved communities to participate in the growth of the digital economy. We are excited to partner with Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh on the expansion of their Urban Tech Jobs Program to help ensure that more adults are able to gain tech skills that will help them progress into higher-wage occupations.”
“Comcast’s $200,000 gift supports one pillar of our One Pittsburgh Now strategic vision of changing the picture for Black Pittsburgh from unemployment and under-employment to economic self-reliance and meaningful careers. Comcast consistently demonstrates the understanding that it takes time and strong leadership to overtake entrenched disadvantages and make a positive impact in marginalized and underserved communities. There is no other organization more qualified than the Urban League to bridge the divide between those disadvantaged by social inequities and the promise of economic self-reliance and the fulfillment of the American dream. We thank and applaud Comcast for their continued commitment to the Urban League Movement,” said Esther L Bush, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh.