It’s hard to believe the impact that the recent pandemic has had on our nation and the great state of New Jersey. COVID-19 has changed the way we live, learn, work and interact with one another. Additionally, we’ve seen a renewed and essential conversation on racial justice and equality, and action by policymakers here in New Jersey. We applaud Gov. Phil Murphy for signing A3641 into law, which requires implicit bias training for law enforcement officers. There’s much work ahead on these and other fronts, and we’re focused on attempting to find solutions and planning for the future.
Through it all, our employees remain committed to keeping New Jersey connected and to supporting our communities during these challenging times – just like we have done for more than a century.
This edition highlights our employees’ efforts to inspire young people to prepare for STEM careers; our continued build out of the FirstNet mobile broadband network for public safety; and our state investments.
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AT&T Employees Spend Summer Mentoring New Jersey Youth, Helping Boost STEM Skills
Members of several AT&T Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), in conjunction with AT&T External Affairs, carved out time in their summer schedules to mentor and provide career advice to students from Paterson, Newark and Trenton.
With both employees and students working and learning from home or remote locations, the sessions were conducted online.
The program kicked off early this summer with nine Tech Talks over nine weeks with students enrolled in the Paterson New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) leadership development program. Volunteers also participated in 11 tech mentoring sessions and 2 commencement ceremonies with All Star Code, an organization that introduces young men of color from NJ, NY and PA to STEM careers. The volunteers hosted the Tech Talks with about 25 Trenton-area middle school students who attended summer camp with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Mercer County.
The employees who came together included NJ i2i, a consortium of New Jersey Employee Resources Groups (ERGs) and Employee Networks (ENs) who work to coordinate activities and communications in AT&T locations across New Jersey.
“We wanted to come up with new and innovative ways to help young people in New Jersey navigate these extraordinarily challenging times during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Joyce Henry, one of the coordinators of the events and the President of the NETwork NY/NJ, an ERG that promotes the African-American experience at AT&T. “These tech talks were designed to inspire students to consider STEM careers and to explore STEM topics during the summer.”
Joyce added: “The students were engaged and learned more about connected cars, 5G, online safety, cloud technology, and services and innovations developed by AT&T. We also helped them with resume writing, interviewing techniques and other tools they will need to succeed in school and on the job.”
Arvind Swamy, AT&T’s regional director for External Affairs in New Jersey, worked closely with the nonprofits to organize the events.
“Being engaged in our communities has been part of the fabric of AT&T for more than a century. While this year has been different in so many ways, our goals remain the same –we do what we can to help young people, especially those in underserved communities, prepare for success in school, on the job and in life. I am so proud to have been able to organize these initiatives with so many colleagues from across the company,” said Swamy.
FirstNet Network Expands Across New Jersey, Advances Public Safety Communications Capabilities
New Jersey’s first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications with the addition of new, purpose-built FirstNet cell sites and other network enhancements statewide. This new infrastructure is a part of the FirstNet network expansion taking place across the state, bringing increased coverage, capacity and capabilities for public safety.
Six new FirstNet cell sites have launched in the following communities. These locations were chosen with input from state and local public safety stakeholders. With FirstNet, it’s about where first responders need connectivity. That’s what is driving our FirstNet build.
- Bergen County: 2 new sites were turned on, including one in Lyndhurst that improves coverage around Delafield Avenue, River Road, Route 7 and Valley Brook Avenue. A second site in Ramsey improves coverage around Erie Plaza.
- Gloucester County: A new site improves coverage around Delsea Drive and Route 55 in Franklinville.
- Monmouth County: This new site in Wall provides coverage around Campus Parkway and Highway 34.
- Passaic County: The new site in West Milford improves coverage around Burnt Meadow Road, Crescent Drive, Snake Den Road and surrounding areas.
- Sussex County: This new site in Sparta improves coverage around Newtown Sparta Road, Sparta Avenue, Andover Road and Sussex Mills Road.
AT&T Invests More Than $1.3 Billion Over Three-Year Period to Keep New Jersey Connected
AT&T is proud to have the nation’s best and also fastest wireless network1, as well as the largest network in North America.2 From 2017-2019, we invested more than $1.3 billion in our wireless and wireline networks in New Jersey to expand coverage and improve connectivity in more communities.
That investment has increased reliability, coverage and overall performance for residents and businesses, which is essential for connecting our customers with family, friends and colleagues – no matter the distance. It’s also improved critical communications services for New Jersey’s first responders using the FirstNet network.
AT&T Marks Hispanic Heritage Month
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th – October 15th, it’s important to reflect on what each of our companies and organizations are doing to promote cultural awareness and inclusion of the Hispanic/Latino community.
Inclusiveness is built into AT&T’s company culture, and diversity at all levels of our workforce is critical to our success. I’m proud to work for a company that signed the Hispanic Promise, a first-of-its-kind national pledge to hire, promote, retain and celebrate Hispanics in the workplace. The Hispanic/Latino community makes up 15.9% of AT&T’s workforce in the U.S. and continues to grow, as does their impact on our economy.
Having the largest racial or ethnic minority population in the U.S.1, Hispanics contribute significantly to the U.S. economy.
- The GDP produced by the Latino community in the U.S. in 2017 was $2.3 trillion.2
- GDP among the Latino community also grew at a faster rate than the overall U.S. economy in that time.3
- There are 4.7 million Hispanic-owned businesses that, combined, contribute over $700 billion to the American economy every year.4
While we celebrate the significant contributions of Hispanics/Latinos to our communities and companies, we must address the negative impact COVID-19 has had on them. According to the Brookings Institution, job and wage losses due to COVID-19 have hit Latino adults the hardest and 33% of Latino parents/primary caregivers have either seen their business shut down and/or have experienced significant drops in revenue. Latino Americans are also more likely than non-Hispanic whites to contract COVID-19 and to face disproportionately high mortality rates when they contract the virus.
What is AT&T doing to help?
At AT&T, our core value to Stand for Equality has never been more relevant, not only inside AT&T but outside, as well. It is a business imperative to champion equality, diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our business. That’s why we recently committed an additional $10 million this year to create economic opportunities and foster upward mobility for underserved communities who face long-standing social inequities and higher unemployment, all of which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calling “Parent Superheroes” Everywhere!
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that parents and caregivers are superheroes. From juggling jobs and childcare to managing distance learning and monitoring screen time, they are doing it all. These “parent superheroes” are now sending their children back to school, many in a virtual setting, while continuing to grapple with all they’re being asked to manage.
This is one reason AT&T is teaming up with some of DC’s most iconic Super Heroes such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg in a new educational spot to remind “parent superheroes” everywhere to set parental controls on the connected devices in their household, and visit ScreenReady.com for help.
1 Best Network based on 2019 GWS OneScore. Fastest based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data median download speeds for Q1 2020. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.
2 Based on comparison of carrier owned & operated networks. No AT&T on-net coverage in select countries, including Canada.