The Comcast Foundation recently decided to support the YWCA of Olympia with a $10,000 grant to develop a tech lab. The Y will use the lab for many things, but especially to help train women so they can be more employable.
Normally we go on and on about these things, but there were a couple of very good news stories about the program, and you’re just as well off going directly to those. The video above also captures the sights and sounds including comments from women about how this exposure to technology will help them.
Here’s what our Diem Ly put together about this announcement:
Beyond the ribbon-cutting and enthusiasm among supporters recently at the YWCA of Olympia offices, there is a stark truth. Female-headed households with children have the lowest annual income of all groups: 24 percent of these households live in poverty. Many women are working, but in low-wage jobs that offer little opportunity for advancement. The YWCA of Olympia serves many of these unemployed and under-employed women. In a recent survey of 200 YWCA clients, 76 percent reported they were not currently employed, noting a lack of training, soft skills and confidence as barriers to employment as well as limited access to technology.
To address this need, the YWCA of Olympia and the Comcast Foundation partnered to launch the Comcast Learning Lab on Dec. 9, just a stone’s throw from the Capitol Building. In addition to developing basic to more advanced computer skills and hands-on job experience, the program takes into account gender-responsive services – a more complex set of skills, habits and supports that women need to be successful.
One woman can be responsible for children, parents, family members, extended family members and friends…When you empower one woman, you’re really supporting a whole network of people.
The Comcast Learning Lab is a critical part of the YWCA’s Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) which focuses on increasing the competence, confidence and connections women need to succeed in the workplace, move beyond minimum wage employment and experience economic mobility. Over the course of the year, 24 women will gain administrative, marketing, retail, supply, accounting, management, public speaking, and customer service skills. Threaded throughout the entire program is technology training and digital literacy skills for women to break the cycle of poverty utilizing the brand new Comcast Learning Lab.