On Monday April 22, 2019, the Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) and Facebook partnered to bring free refurbished computers along with job search and interview skills training to nearly 100 low-income Cambridge residents participating in local workforce programs and seeking jobs in the city. The CCF program, Tech-cellerate, works with corporate partners to put computers and technology into the hands of residents who need them most. Facebook Boston donated the laptops and provided in-person training led by Facebook staff, including technical recruiters and local talent recruiters, at their Cambridge-based offices. City Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui joined CCF and Facebook to welcome recipients.
CCF worked with local nonprofits in Cambridge to identify program participants who would benefit most from the training. Participating nonprofits and workforce programs included the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, Parenting Journey, Heading Home, Compass Working Capital, as well as the City of Cambridge’s Community Learning Center, Office of Workforce Development, Youth Centers, and the E-Team Machinist Training Program of MassHire Metro North Workforce Board which received a 10-laptop mobile lab.
“We are delighted to be able to work with our community and corporate partners and make the link between opportunity and need,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation. “Facebook’s generous donation valued at almost $200,000 is filling an important need in our community. I am so grateful for their generosity, compassion, kindness and their love for community.”
“Our motto at Facebook is Move fast. Be bold. Make Impact. That’s where innovation happens,” said Kia Floyd, head of Facebook Public Policy. “We’re so pleased to be hosting you, our neighbors, during Diversity and Inclusion Week, and to connect you with our staff who are excited to share some skills and tools you can take advantage of to be competitive in today’s job market.”
Sumbul Siddiqui, a first-term City Councillor who has worked to strengthen the City’s workforce development programs and serves as chair of the Human Services committee, summed up the value of the program in her welcome to the group:
“Since I’ve been on the Council, I’ve seen first-hand the gaps we have in Cambridge. We are a city that has many resources, but many in our community don’t have access to them, and that’s neither fair nor right. It is incumbent upon us and our partners, like the Cambridge Community Foundation, to help identify ways to fill those gaps. I’m thankful to Facebook for providing these laptops, and more importantly, for providing access to the tools and training that will help our community members find meaningful jobs. We must keep building pathways to opportunity together.”