In her role at nonprofit Better Family Life in St. Louis, Ida Roundtree has seen clients improve their resumes, land jobs, and find joy again providing for their families. In short, she’s seen the impact of career development programs made possible, in part, by a meaningful first year partnership with Charter through Spectrum Community Center Assist (SCCA), a strategic philanthropic initiative to revitalize community centers in rural and urban areas, and invest in job training programs in underserved communities across Spectrum’s 41-state footprint.
Better Family Life, which works to stabilize inner city neighborhoods, has provided job training to more than 120 program participants, and helped more than 80 recipients find jobs since first partnering with Spectrum in September of 2021. It’s one of 19 nonprofits in as many different cities across the Spectrum service area that benefitted in the first 12 months of the program. Over five years, Spectrum plans to invest $30 million, including in-kind contributions, to improve 100 community centers across its service area, serving an estimated 50,000 local residents.
“When I look at our community members, I see myself; they don’t even know what Miss Ida has been through,” said Roundtree, Better Family Life’s Interim Senior Director of Workforce Development, who experienced homelessness in her own past. “This initiative has changed their lives. When I think about the impact due to the efforts of Spectrum – it helps us further our mission for community outreach and to provide hope, comprehensive services and meaningful opportunities.”
Spectrum Community Center Assist Impact: By the Numbers
6,000+ Participants served across the company’s 41-state service area. Nineteen community centers in 15 states have provided clients with access to job training classes, new devices, and undergone improvements with the help of Spectrum volunteers. In Stamford, Conn. near Charter’s headquarters, Asha G., who had lost her job during the pandemic, arrived at the Community Action Agency of Western Connecticut and learned that improving her digital skills would be a boon to her career search. Within a month she passed classes in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access that strengthened her resume.
160+ Jobs obtained through jobs skills training programs. From resume workshops, to job skills training and interview practice – more than 160 clients of the community centers that are part of SCCA have landed jobs. One student, Malik, arrived at the Beatties Ford Vocational Trade Center in Charlotte, N.C. unemployed, but after completing six months of training in heating and air ventilation, he was hired by an HVAC company.
1,000+ Laptops, desks, workstations and Smartboards distributed: Bridging the digital divide is an important mission of many Spectrum Community Center Assist partners. At each launch, Spectrum donates 25+ Chromebooks in addition to other equipment. Consider the impact of one device distributed to Tammy S., a client of UP Orlando — a single mom with a master’s degree who had lost her job. Tammy participated in UP Orlando’s Success Training Employment Program and received a Chromebook at graduation. The device helped her skill development, and job search — soon after she landed a new role.
3,400+ Volunteer Hours by Spectrum employees. Employees – more than 600 in the first year – have given their time and energy at SCCA partnership launch events across the company’s service area. Employee volunteers have made physical improvements to 19 different community centers including landscaping, painting, and installing desks and chairs in classrooms at the newly branded Spectrum Training and Technology Centers.
Community centers also receive complimentary gigabit broadband service from Spectrum as part of the partnership — a vital component that the centers report attract more clients, and has a positive impact on day-to-day operations, and varied programs at the facility.
“One year into the Spectrum Community Center Assist program we’ve seen the benefits to both career seekers and local employers from this partnership, and we’re eager to build on that success,” said Rahman Khan, Vice President of Community Impact for Charter Communications, which operates the Spectrum brand of Internet, TV, Mobile and Voice products. “SCCA strives to develop long-term partnerships that can have impact for years to come. We are seeing families improve their economic situations with the help of our program, from the skills they learn that ultimately help them get hired.”
*Above figures represent one-year totals of Spectrum Community Center Assist impact, from launch in September 2021 through October 1, 2022.
More information about Spectrum Community Center Assist is available here.