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The Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC), LISC and AT&T are collaborating on an initiative that is helping people in Newark’s East Ward build their digital skills and access technology.

Support from LISC and AT&T will provide the ICC an opportunity to bring the community up to speed with technology focused on online financial services, state and federal benefits, job training and development, and digital warning signs and safeguarding.

“This initiative will help equip Newark residents of all ages with resources and tools they need to succeed in our technology-intensive world,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “We’re glad that AT&T and LISC are working with the team at ICC to offer digital navigation programs in Newark and I commend them on developing this program.”

The Digital Equity & Access program is already in full swing, providing workshops and one-on-one training to community members and staff. The next series will be held July 27, Aug. 3 and Aug. 8, from 11 a.m. until noon at the ICC’s Family Success Center on Elm St. in Newark.

“With the world rapidly moving to a more digital and technological direction, this relationship with AT&T and LISC will help ICC make a tremendous impact for our community members,” said Charles Barlow-Richardson, director of programs at ICC.

There are also plans for a Digital Generations initiative to provide coaching to both senior citizens and youth between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. The target rollout date for this initiative will be in September 2022.  Specific locations will be announced soon.

“Access to technology and strong digital skills are critical to a family’s success in education, job training, and today’s workplace,” said Katrin Sirje Kärk, director of Workforce Innovations at LISC, one of the nation’s largest community development organizations. “We’re grateful for this collaboration with AT&T that’s allowed LISC to support Ironbound and 13 similar partners across the country, enhancing digital skilling and technology offerings in underinvested communities.”

Arvind Swamy, regional director, AT&T External Affairs, said the company is excited about the initiative.

“For more than 50 years, the Ironbound Community Corporation has been delivering services that help residents in the Ironbound neighborhood,” Swamy said. “We’re excited to work with the team to help improve residents’ digital literacy skills that are so important in the digital age,” said Arvind Swamy, regional director, AT&T External Affairs.

The program is part of the AT&T Connected Learning initiative, created as part of AT&T’s companywide $2 billion commitment from 2021–2023 to address the digital divide through investments in digital literacy tools, education resources, broadband technology, low-cost internet service, and computers, to help learners succeed inside and outside of the classroom.