WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded 12 grants as part of the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program (CMC).
Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson announced the awards at Coppin State University (MD), one of the Connecting Minority Communities program’s awardees. They were joined by Governor Wes Moore, Senator Ben Cardin, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Representative Kweisi Mfume, and Coppin State University President Anthony Jenkins.
“High-speed Internet service is going to create opportunities, increase productivity, and improve lives, particularly in communities that have too often been left behind.” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Graves. “At the Commerce Department, we’re committed to seeing investments from initiatives like the Connecting Minority Communities program create opportunities for good jobs supported by equitable hiring, fair compensation, safe workplaces, and the tools and training needed for long-term success.”
“The Internet is essential for access to work, to education, to healthcare, and to justice,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson. “Our Connecting Minority Communities program is about equipping students and the surrounding communities with the skills, the devices, and the capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy.”
A diverse group of stakeholders have offered their support for these grants. Visit InternetForAll.Gov to read their statements.
These grants, totaling more than $33.5 million, will expand community technology hubs, upgrade classroom technology, and increase digital literacy skills at 12 minority serving colleges and universities in 10 states.
The Connecting Minority Communities program is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative that will connect everyone in America with affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service. This program specifically directs $268 million from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 for expanding high-speed Internet access and connectivity to eligible Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs), and Minority-serving institutions (MSIs).
|H. Councill Trenholm State Community College
|H. Trenholm State Community College (Trenholm)'s “Connecting Montgomery: Bridging the Digital Divide - Closing the Opportunity Gap” project aims to strengthen Trenholm’s ability to serve its students and improve digital equity for thousands of others in its anchor community. The project activities include:
|University of Arizona
|The University of Arizona's “Connect Arizona Now: Digital Inclusion for Underserved Students and Communities of Southern Arizona” (Project CAN) project aims to address the need for broadband Internet access, connectivity, and digital inclusion in the highly diverse, often rural, communities of Southern Arizona. The project activities include:
|Loma Linda University
|Loma Linda University’s “Connecting Minority Communities Pilot” program aims to make healthcare education more accessible to students whose location, access to transportation, family life, or work circumstance preclude them from coming to campus on a scheduled basis. The project activities include:
|Broward College (BC)'s “Connecting Broward-UP Communities (CBC)” project aims to promote broadband adoption, access, and capacity at BC and ensure all residents in the targeted anchor communities have access to broadband service.
The “Broward UP Communities Project” will:
|St. Augustine College
|St. Augustine College (SAC)'s “Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program” aims to address digital inequities through investments in infrastructure, affordable broadband connections and devices, and digital literacy training. The project activities include
|The Dominican University "Connecting Minds & Technology: Enhancing Cross-Campus Digital Literacy with Hands-on Initiatives" CMT) project will enable DU to bring its broadband and IT capacity up to a robust level, expand institutional capacity for broadband and advanced technology education, and build digital skills and IT workforce capacity through enhanced professional development, technology training, and student workforce programs. The project activities include:
|Simmons College of Kentucky, Inc.
|The Simmons College of Kentucky “Building a Digital Teaching and Learning Center for Louisville's HBCU” project aims to build a digital teaching and learning center that will be a hub for providing comprehensive digital training and technology resources for Simmons’ students and faculty. The project activities include:
|Coppin State University
|The Coppin State University “Connect Eagle Nation” project is a collaborative pilot program designed to close the digital gap in Baltimore, Maryland. The project activities include:
|Elizabeth City State University
|The Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) “Strengthening Broadband Capacity to Amplify Educational Opportunities and Foster Digital Inclusion in Rural and Underserved Communities” project aims to bridge the digital divide and amplify educational opportunities and workforce development to ensure that university students and residents of the surrounding anchor communities have access to the opportunity to compete in today's workforce. It also aims to expand ECSU’s capacity to support both on-campus and remote learners. The project activities include:
|Saint Augustine's University
|Saint Augustine’s University (SAU)'s “University Broadband Upgrade and Digital Equity Initiative” project aims to increase Internet bandwidth capacity and connectivity at SAU and build digital literacy skills to promote digital equity within the SAU campus and anchor communities. The project activities include:
|Central State University
|Central State University (CSU)'s “Connections: Central State's Student and Communities Project” (CCC) aims to increase the institution’s technology infrastructure and enhance its ability to serve students and the anchor community in the Miami Valley region. The project activities include:
|Lincoln University (Pennsylvania)
|Lincoln University’s “Build and Continually Enhance Digital Capacity for Desired and Sustained Outcomes” Project has two main goals: (1) build and enhance an effective broadband and IT capacity; and (2) provide broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment, and support for students and other university stakeholders. The project activities include:
About the National Telecommunications and Information Administration
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, advancing public safety communications, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.