AT&T Opens Learning Center at Jefferson East, Bridges Digital Divide   

AT&T Michigan is showing its commitment to connectivity in Detroit with a new AT&T Connected Learning Center inside Jefferson East Inc.’s new Neighborhood Resource Hub in Detroit’s Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood, which would help youth and residents who lack internet access.  

Photo courtesy of AT&T Michigan  

  

Over 60 percent of East Jefferson residents don’t have internet access and about 25 percent of residents don’t have access throughout the whole of Detroit.  

What’s the solution?  

Through digital equity-based initiatives, AT&T Michigan is finding solutions by opening Detroit’s first Connected Learning Center inside Jefferson East Inc.’s Neighborhood Resource Hub.   

The newly developed space will offer the community high-speed broadband internet, computers, and professional development services as part of their $2 billion commitment to help bridge the digital divide.  

“I applaud AT&T for their continued investment in Detroit with their new Connected Learning Center,” said Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14). “In an increasingly digital world, technology and connectivity resources are more important now than ever. This will provide the much-needed support for underserved Detroiters while helping close the digital divide.”  

By breaking down the digital divide, the center will provide high-speed AT&T Fiber internet, Wi-Fi, Dell Technologies computers — as well as education, tutoring, and mentoring resources — for local students and community members, according to a press release. The company is also contributing $50,000 in support of JEI programming.   

“Our investment in the AT&T Connected Learning Center at Jefferson East directly reflects our commitment to address the digital divide and make an impact in the communities we serve,” said AT&T Michigan President David Lewis. “AT&T is committed to helping ensure the success of all Detroiters, and this Connected Learning Center will help connect the city’s underserved students and families to the technology they need.”  

JEI works to build inclusive neighborhoods along Detroit’s east Jefferson corridor and its five adjoining historic neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Resource Hub, which opened in late 2021, provides its eastside community with several critical services and resources designed to help keep residents in their homes.  

“This collaboration with AT&T at our Neighborhood Resource Hub provides essential connectivity and digital resources to some of our most vulnerable students and families,” said Josh Elling, JEI CEO. “The Connected Learning Center is the perfect addition to the Neighborhood Resource Hub, giving families access to critical resources that will help them be successful now and into the future.”  

This is the first AT&T Connected Learning Center launched in Detroit. The company has plans to open more than 20 centers across the country. Centers will be housed within local organizations that support under-resourced populations, including some of the nation’s most vulnerable students and families.  

And as part of its ongoing commitment to championing digital inclusion for underserved communities, Dell Technologies will donate Dell OptiPlex computers and Dell monitors which feature integrated audio and webcams to support virtual learning. Overland-Tandberg, leading global technology and IT services company, will lead the onsite configuration of the computers.  

The company is also looking to work through the non-profit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to help more individuals in Detroit gain digital skills and access to technology. Operation ABLE, a division of Spectrum Human Services, will get computers for their community center that helps adults find employment via personalized searches, job placement, occupational training, and career transition services.  

“AT&T’s continued collaboration and investment in the city of Detroit is going to make a significant impact for our residents,” said City Council President Mary Sheffield. “Support like this will set Detroiters up to be successful now and into the future.”  

Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency will hire a full-time Digital Navigator and Coach. They serve over 35,000 low and moderate-income residents throughout Southeast Michigan, providing over 70 programs including housing stability services, free tax preparation, Head Start, and more.  

Making the internet more affordable is also a new reality for millions of eligible households around the country, including in Detroit. Eligible families can sign up for free internet service by combining the $30 a month benefit from the new federal Affordable Connectivity Program with the low-cost Access from AT&T plan. The new Access from AT&T plan now provides faster internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps for $30 a month, up from 10 Mbps provided in their original Access from AT&T plan. Details are available at att.com/internet/access.  

“Digital connectivity has become a critical part of education for young people, and yet so many Detroit youth still don’t have digital access,” said Monique Holliday of Hope Community Outreach and Development. “This collaboration between AT&T and JEI helps ensures students in the area can have better digital support so they can learn and grow into thriving adults.”  

Learn more about AT&T’s expanded internet connectivity at att.com/connectedlearning.  

 

 

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