Spectra and Comcast have partnered to help bridge the digital divide in the local Atlantic City community. Spectra, which provides Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to both the Atlantic City Convention Center and Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, today donated 30 laptops to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City. Additionally, Comcast will provide six months of complimentary Internet Essentials services to help students stay connected for virtual learning and online programming.
Jim McDonald, Spectra’s General Manager of both facilities, and Joyce Leveston, Spectra’s Senior Vice President of Convention Centers, surprised students from the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City in their new Teen Center with the laptops, while Comcast Community Impact representative Kim Smith provided the six months of complimentary Internet Essentials services.
“Thanks to Comcast and Spectra, our great partners in working to bridge the digital divide for our Clubs Kids in Atlantic City,” Stephanie Koch, CEO, Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, said. “The tools they are providing us with will enhance learning opportunities, help our youth explore careers, and hone their skills academically and technically as they prepare for a brighter future.”
McDonald added: “Supporting the Atlantic City Boys & Girls Club is part of our focus on community partnerships and is essential to our business operation. This donation supports youth development, next generation leadership, and future hospitality and event professionals in Atlantic City. We are proud to partner with the Spectra corporate office and Comcast to make this donation with the support of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).”
With a focus on digital equity, the partnership between Spectra and Comcast is a multi-city initiative. Spectra-managed venues across five markets donated 30 laptops to each of five Boys & Girls Clubs locations: Atlantic City; Chester, Pa.; Trenton, N.J.; Chicago, Ill.; and Miami, Fla.
“At Spectra, we are strengthened by our differences and united by making a difference at work and in our local communities,” William Hughston, Spectra’s Chief Diversity Officer, said. “Through our ongoing partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, Spectra is hoping to help close the technology gap - which was exacerbated by COVID-19 - and work to solve other challenges facing the local community. Spectra embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and the communities that we serve.”
Comcast also announced it is equipping five nonprofits in Atlantic County with WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the Internet so they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy. Working with local community centers, Comcast is providing robust WiFi coverage at these five sites that are expected to help hundreds of low-income students get online:
• Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City (Drexel Ave. Club)
• Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City (Chelsea Club)
• Atlantic City Rescue Mission
• Egg Harbor Township Police Athletic League (Main Office)
• Police Athletic League Buddy Adventure Zone (Egg Harbor)
In March, Comcast announced a $1 billion commitment over 10 years in continued support of digital equity, including its Lift Zones initiative, which aims to establish WiFi-connected safe spaces in 1,000+ community centers nationwide for students and adults by the end of 2021.
Lift Zones complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which has helped connect millions of low-income people to the Internet at home since 2011 including nearly 32,000 in Atlantic County. Working with its network of nonprofit partners, Comcast is providing free WiFi hotspot connectivity in community centers with access to hundreds of hours of digital skills content to help families and site coordinators navigate online learning. Comcast has already launched more than 100 Lift Zones across Greater Philadelphia and New Jersey.
"The pandemic has put many low-income families at risk of being left behind, and we’re proud to work with community partners to support them with Internet adoption and digital equity programs like this one,” said Jim Samaha, Senior Vice President of Comcast's Freedom Region. “We hope these Lift Zones help Atlantic County families stay connected to vital resources.”
Both Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center are owned and funded by the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). Spectra provides both Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to both Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center.
Spectra is an industry leader in hosting and entertainment, partnering with clients to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra’s unmatched blend of integrated services delivers incremental value for clients through several primary areas of expertise: Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, and Partnerships. Learn more at SpectraExperiences.com.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
About the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA)
The only agency of its kind nationwide, the CRDA has used Atlantic City casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents since 1984. Under the 2011 Tourism District Act, the Authority's mission evolved from statewide projects to becoming the state's key economic development agency for Atlantic City. CRDA's expanded responsibilities now include land use regulation, tourism marketing and clean and safe initiatives. The CRDA also oversees Historic Boardwalk Hall (the leading entertainment venue of its size in the country) and the Atlantic City Convention Center. In total, CRDA has invested nearly $2 billion in more than 400 projects statewide, of which $1.8 billion has been invested in Atlantic City, spurring business investments and expansions, and creating permanent jobs in the process. For more information about CRDA and our projects, visit www.njcrda.com, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
For destination photos and videos media may visit www.doatlanticcity.com/mediaonline where dozens of assets are available for download. For complete Atlantic City tourism information, visit www.doatlanticcity.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.