Comcast Funds Philadelphia OIC Technology Work with Grants Totaling $45,000
Comcast Foundation Provides Two Grants to Expand Digital Literacy Program, and Technology Boot Camp, CODE OIC
PHILADELPHIA, PA (Jan. 5, 2016) — Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. (OIC) has been awarded two grants from the Comcast Foundation for a total of $45,000. A grant of $20,000 was awarded for the Philadelphia OIC Digital Literacy Program, while a second grant of $25,000 will support the recently launched technology boot camp, CODE OIC.
The digital literacy program expands, and further integrates technology training into OIC’s existing occupational and educational offerings, including its GED preparation program and hospitality training institute. This program also serves as a foundation for OIC’s advanced technology boot camp.
CODE OIC – a partnership with Coded By U and Wilco Electronic Systems, trains youth and young adult workers for careers in information technology and web development. CODE OIC — which stands for Creating Opportunities to Diversify Economy — offers 12-week boot camps, to expose students to careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and to train prospective IT professionals in entry-level jobs in careers as web developers, computer programmers, graphic designers, and database administrators.
“This investment by Comcast will enable Philadelphia OIC to expand digital capability for each of the more than 1,300 clients we serve annually,” said Kevin R. Johnson, Ed.D., Philadelphia OIC president and CEO. “Our city needs workers prepared for every level of technology in the workplace, and this partnership with Comcast will provide important resources to ensure more people are prepared for twenty-first century jobs.”
Aisha Dennis, Ed.M., director of education, and program manager for both the OIC digital literacy program and CODE OIC said, “Philadelphia OIC is committed to expanding our pipeline of clients who educationally move from digital literacy, where they learn the basics, to digital fluency, where they have a command of technology for use in jobs across all sectors, to digital mastery, where people are prepared to build and support hardware, software and Web technologies as IT professionals.”
“Over the past 50 years, Philadelphia OIC has constantly innovated to offer their clients training on the right skills for their time,” said Comcast Vice President of Community Investment Bob Smith. “We are proud to help OIC continue to evolve by offering the digital literacy and technology training these grants support.”
OIC’s research indicates even an entry-level job in technology could pay up to $62,000 a year, for as little as $5,000 per student investment in training. Moreover, a sampling of data from the more than 3,600 client visitors who have taken computer classes from OIC in 2015 indicated an estimated 62 percent of its clients come from five of the 10 poorest zip codes in Philadelphia, including one-third who come from 19121, the second poorest zip code in Philadelphia. The poverty rates are from the Pew Research Center’s State of the City 2013 report. Additional research suggests as many as 600,000 Philadelphia residents might lack the technology skills needed for jobs in all sectors by 2030.
“This data portrait of Philadelphia and its workforce,” said Dr. Johnson, “illustrates the urgency and importance of the ongoing partnership between Comcast and Philadelphia OIC.”