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Community Foundation Announces Digital Inclusion Fund Grants

Huntsville, ALThe Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville is awarding grants to nine agencies in Huntsville to support and enhance digital access for underserved residents. The awards will be presented at a celebration on July 24th at Yellowhammer’s Lost Highway Bierhall at Campus805.

The Digital Inclusion Fund was created at the Community Foundation with sponsorship funding from Google Fiber. This fund was launched to catalyze digital inclusion efforts in the City of Huntsville by making grants to high-impact programs that will make internet access and digital education available to residents currently without access to those resources.

The Community Foundation convened a Community Conversation in February to discuss digital inclusion and to prioritize our community’s needs in this area. Based on the outcome of that meeting, a public request for grant applications was issued in April, which resulted in twenty-seven applications for projects totaling $460,384.38. Following a rigorous review process by a grants committee comprised of community stakeholders, nine high-impact programs were selected to support underserved individuals from across the community.

“We expect that these grants will begin to address the highest priority digital inclusion needs that were identified at our Community Conversation,” stated Stuart Obermann, CEO/President of the Community Foundation. “We are very pleased to partner with each of these grantees and will work with them to ensure we achieve a positive outcome from each program.”

“Google Fiber is excited to support the Huntsville community’s digital inclusion priorities,” said Daynise Joseph, Community Impact Manager for Google Fiber in Huntsville. “These organizations are working every day to help Huntsville residents build skills and increase access to ensure that everyone can take advantage of technological opportunities. We’re proud to be able to support their work.”

The Grants Committee for the Digital Inclusion Fund is pleased to award grants for the following projects:

Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama $20,000.00
Enhance digital inclusion of students ages 9-18 by providing training in digital citizenship, providing training in coding and programming, and addressing gaps in community access

The CornerStone Initiative $19,117.36
Adult Computer Literacy/Basic Training and Advanced Certifications
Provide locally-accessible computer classroom to overcome transportation challenges and provide free basic computer literacy courses, as well as courses leading to Advanced Microsoft Certifications

Downtown Rescue Mission $15,000.00
Expand Internet access and digital literacy efforts for homeless population to assist those who are seeking online GED credits and those who need online access to apply for governmental and private assitance

First Stop $10,000.00
Client Resource Computer Lab
Provide computer workstations with Internet connection for clients to participate job training and job searches

Huntsville/Madison County Public Library $7,500.00
Workforce Development Lab with Mobile Capability
Provide Mobile Workforce Development Lab for those who need digital assistance to secure employment or job advancement

Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce Foundation $5,000.00
A Smart Place to Work – Online Career Exploration and Training for Youth and Un-/Under-Employed Adults
Implement A Smart Place to Work platform to bring together people who need career awareness and job opportunities with companies who need current and future employees

Huntsville STEAM Works $5,000.00
Outreach After School Digital Inclusion Programs
Expand after-school and in-school programming for low-income communities

Serving Hope $4,000.00
Digital Hope
Provide classroom learning element to the “Hope Heals” program to help food service students become familiar with computers, online research, job searches online applications, researching for their final project, and allow them to utilize ServSafe and many other online food service resources for continued study and to take the ServSafe examination

Riley Center $3,000.00
Provide comprehensive services to individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder and provide training in pre-vocational/vocation and independent and community living skills through the acquisition of hardware and software

The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville launched the Digital Inclusion Fund to support digital inclusion efforts in the City of Huntsville. With seed funding provided by Google Fiber, these grants fund high-impact programs that will make internet access and digital education available to those currently without access to those resources.