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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Partnering with nonprofits and local organizations

Over the course of the trial, we at AT&T have worked together with local groups and organizations to hold meetings, events and information sessions to talk to West Delray Beach residents and community members about the trial. What it is, what it means and the types of technologies, products and services it will enable. We have partnered with a number of local homeowners associations, held meetings at the local library and convened larger events at the community civic center – to help get the word out and make our presence known in many different parts of the local West Delray Beach area, working with the local institutions and organizations that are frequented by members of the community.

Over the past month, we have worked together with Consumer Action, a national, nonprofit consumer education and advocacy organization, to hold a series of highly successful education and training sessions. We’ve held fourteen trainings so far, and they’ve been attended by about 250 local West Delray Beach area residents. These trainings were planned, organized and convened by Consumer Action and their staff members, working together with a number of different West Delray Beach area organizations, including local homeowners associations, the local literacy coalition, faith-based organizations, and the university cooperative extension. Of the 14 trainings conducted so far, 2 were conducted in Spanish and we intend to conduct 3 more in Spanish in the coming months, in addition to translating materials into Spanish, Haitian and Creole.

The recent trainings focused on topics including the IP Transition and the trials – answering participants’ questions, and providing information about what’s happening here on the ground in Florida and more broadly across the nation in terms of the products and services that consumers are increasingly choosing that are driving the transition. And the trainings focused on Internet and online safety and privacy – providing information about how to be safe online, how to protect personal information and data and advice on how to keep kids and grandkids safe online. Participants were eager for this information and had lots of questions about what they could do to help protect themselves while online. The best part was hearing from folks about how useful and important that they found these training and the information shared. Many said that, now that they have this information, they will not only use it themselves but also share it with friends and family members.

More trainings and information sessions are planned with Consumer Action and local organizations for early December.

Joe York is AT&T's president for Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.