Through a partnership with Comcast Oregon/SW Washington, Worksystems has purchased and distributed nearly 400 laptop computers and 6 months of pre-paid internet access to low-income job seekers through Comcast’s Internet Essentials program.
The computers were distributed to the following partners in our service provider network who provided them to job seekers in need:
- Black Parent Initiative
- Central City Concern
- Centro Cultural
- Community Action
- Constructing Hope
- Hillsboro School District
- Home Forward
- Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
- Latino Network
- Mt Hood Community College
- New Avenues for Youth
- Oregon Human Development Corporation (OHDC)
- Oregon Tradeswomen
- Portland Community College
- Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC)
- Portland YouthBuilders
- SE Works
- Urban League
“As the public workforce system (WorkSource Portland Metro) transitions to virtual service provision, it is critical that low-income job seekers have the equipment and technology necessary to access services remotely,” said Worksystems’ Executive Director Andrew McGough. “Keeping vulnerable populations connected is essential to our recovery efforts.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in our region, more than 24,400 people have filed an initial claim for unemployment insurance in the Portland Metro area. Several counties in the region are seeing triple digit increases in claims week over week with workers in retail, hospitality and food service occupations being hardest hit as many of these jobs are not able to telecommute.
“During this unprecedented time, it is vital for Oregonians to stay connected to the Internet – for education, work, and personal health reasons,” said Comcast’s Vice-President of External Affairs, Marion Haynes. “We’re proud to partner with Worksystems to help get people connected through our Internet Essentials program.”
Since its inception in 2011, Internet Essentials has connected more than 52,000 low-income households in the Oregon/SW Washington region. The program charges $9.95/month, but in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Comcast is offering two months free for customers who sign up on or before April 30. People who qualify for a broad range of federal assistance programs including Medicaid, HUD-assisted housing, SNAP, and SSI, among others, are eligible to apply for Internet Essentials.
Thank you Comcast for this great partnership!