Toronto, ON and Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) – TD announced this week Byte Back is one of 10 recipients to receive their inaugural TD Ready Challenge grants. Each recipient organization will receive CDN $1 million (USD $775,000) to help them scale innovative solutions aimed at preparing North Americans for the economy of the future.
With a focus on financial security, the recipients of this year’s Challenge will apply the grants to solutions they have designed to help workers transform their existing skills and build new ones and help reduce barriers to STEM training for underrepresented groups to open doors for individuals who have the greatest risk of falling behind due to rapid technological advancement.
Byte Back is an award-winning Washington, DC-based nonprofit that connects communities with inclusive tech training and pathways into living-wage careers. With this CDN $1 million investment, Byte Back will expand into Baltimore in 2019 and begin to fully explore its national expansion. This is the first time in 21 years that the nonprofit has expanded outside the National Capital region.
Byte Back is the 2017 Community Award recipient for National BDPA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPADC.org). Ms. Elizabeth Lindsey (second from right), is Byte Back‘s Executive Director.
The technology skills gap Byte Back addresses is not unique to its home region. In the U.S., 28 million adults are living in poverty. Since 2002, the U.S. economy has lost 28 million low tech jobs that have disappeared or now require medium and high tech skills. Byte Back provides a unique solution for adults who have not had access nor opportunities to use technology in their careers.
“The changing workplace presents new opportunities for a prosperous economy, but we must grow in ways that allow everyone a chance to succeed,” says Bharat Masrani, Group President and Chief Executive Officer, TD Bank Group. “Fortunately, there is no shortage of innovative ideas to support greater income stability – ideas that can open doors and help people feel more confident in the future.”
With this investment from TD, Byte Back will train at least 72 people in Baltimore in the first year, setting the stage for the organization’s national expansion.
“Thousands of adults are still struggling to succeed in the digital economy, and we cannot leave them behind. They deserve education opportunities, they deserve to fully participate in a digital world, and they deserve living-wage careers,” said Ms. Lindsey. “We’re really dreaming now about what it looks like for our impact to expand to hundreds and thousands more people across the country.”