“The first of its kind now lives right here.”
This sentiment, echoed throughout the opening ceremony of AT&T’s Connected Learning Center® in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a testament to the importance of collaboration and to the critical community role that’s served by organizations that are well established and highly respected. Through triumphs and trials, we’ve been proud to stand alongside the Urban League of Louisiana, strengthening communities and encouraging our neighbors.
A lifelong learner myself, there are few things I want more than to see men and women across Louisiana have the skills and confidence they need to achieve success, and I’ve always led with the mindset that great collaborations can transform lives and communities.
At the opening ceremony inside the Urban League of Louisiana, I witnessed the impact local collaborations can have first-hand. I heard from community leaders and checked out the center’s latest cutting-edge technology.
Along with local policymakers and stakeholders, the ceremony was attended by Louisianans of all walks of life who are eager to enhance their digital skills. While exploring the center’s amenities, it was inspiring to watch the anxiety and stress about learning something new become replaced by excitement at the newfound opportunities. The new center is up and running, thanks to our wonderful collaborations with Dell, which donated all of the computers, and World Wide Technology, which donated their time to provide IT support for imaging and installing the computers.
While student learning in youth is critical, the Urban League is also focused on supporting adult learners and helping them develop the skills to navigate and explore all of the digital world’s possibilities.
Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League and former Mayor of New Orleans was also present. Like me, he shares a passion for lifelong learning. It was incredible to hear Marc speak with adult learners currently enrolled in workforce development courses who were using the newly installed computers to work on their training. Inside the center, these trainees will be able to access educational resources they never thought possible.
As Marc said, “Connectivity to the information superhighway is a necessity in America today.”
Marc’s attendance underscores the importance of our work with the National Urban League. Our collaboration to set up centers within local affiliates started this summer in Indianapolis and has grown to right here in New Orleans and up north in St. Louis. It’s all part of our broader AT&T Connected Learning® initiative to address the digital divide through investments in internet accessibility, affordability and the safe adoption of technology.
As the 29th AT&T Connected Learning Center we’ve opened nationally, and the first in New Orleans, it’s easy to see how much progress we’ve made in Louisiana alone. AT&T Fiber is now accessible at 590,000 customer locations within the state, and this center is just the latest effort to bring more connectivity to Louisianans.
Attending the AT&T Connected Learning Center opening event reassured me that my state is on the right track to being prepared for the digital future. With access to the digital tools they need to succeed at any stage of life, I’m confident this milestone will propel Louisianans forward.