News Release

UnidosUS and Verizon Announce $1 Million Grant Funding for Improving Digital Literacy Among Latinos

UnidosUS and Verizon bring digital literacy and job readiness program to Latino communities in Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans and Lawrence, Massachusetts

October 30, 2019

CHICAGO—UnidosUS and Verizon today joined UnidosUS Affiliate Northwest Side Housing Center in Chicago to announce $1 million in grant funding for the new Latinos @ Work program, which aims to improve digital literacy rates among Latino workers across the country. Janet Murguía, UnidosUS President and CEO, Craig Silliman, Verizon’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel and James Rudyk, Northwest Side Housing Center’s Executive Director, met with local stakeholders and advocates at one of the service locations in Chicago.

“One in six workers in this country are Latino and by 2030, one in three new workers will be so it is crucial to ensure that these workers are prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía. “Through our long-standing partnership with Verizon, we are launching the Latinos @ Work program in Chicago and three other cities to upgrade more workers with the tech skills they need to reboot their careers.”

“Verizon and UnidosUS’s launch of new digital learning centers have the power to make a real impact on the workforce at a time when digital literacy skills are more crucial than ever,” said Craig Silliman, Verizon’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “As our society becomes more digital, we must ensure that no community is left behind.”

“Northwest Side Housing Center is excited to continue to advance our mission of responding to the needs of the Latinx community through partnering with Cara Connects to add the ‘Latinos @ Work’ digital literacy curriculum and tools to the workforce development services we offer,” said James Rudyk, Executive Director of Northwest Side Housing Center. “This support helps low-income Latinas in the Belmont Cragin community sharpen their skills with the latest technology to be even more competitive for high-demand jobs.”

The funds will support Latinos @ Work’s new digital learning centers at community-based organizations in Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle and Lawrence, Massachusetts. Each location will offer an eight-week long curriculum and provide technology tools and professional services to help program participants become more digitally competent in the workforce. Enrolled participants will also be provided with meals, childcare, laptops and transportation during the duration of their course.

Over the last several decades, digital literacy has become a key skill necessary to succeed in the workplace. Today, 53 percent of U.S. jobs are “middle-skill” jobs, meaning they require some education beyond a high school diploma, but not a four-year degree. Statistically, eight of out 10 of these jobs require digital skills. The Latinos @ Work Program will focus on providing participants with these skills so they can advance in their careers and onto higher wage jobs.

The Latinos @ Work program will be facilitated by UnidosUS Affiliates and local partners, who have extensive expertise in culturally responsive programs. These organizations include: Northwest Side Housing Center in partnership with Cara Connects in Chicago; the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana Foundation in New Orleans; El Centro de la Raza in Seattle and Lawrence Community Works in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

For more details about the Latinos @ Work program, please click here.

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York City, generated revenues of $130.9 billion in 2018. The company operates America’s most awarded wireless network and the nation’s premier all-fiber network, and delivers integrated solutions to businesses worldwide. With brands like Yahoo, TechCrunch and HuffPost, the company’s media group helps consumers stay informed and entertained, communicate and transact, while creating new ways for advertisers and partners to connect. Verizon’s corporate responsibility prioritizes the environmental, social and governance issues most relevant to its business and impact to society.

Contact:
Dan Cruz
news@unidosus.org

Contact:
David Weissmann
david.weissmann@verizon.com