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AT&T Announces $10,000 Donation to Expand College Connection Program at Gateway

News Release: 

AT&T Funding Will Help At-Risk Students Graduate High School & Earn a Technical College Certification

ATT Check Donation

STURTEVANT, Friday, May 16, 2014 – AT&T announced today a $10,000 AT&T Innovation & Investment Award to expand the College Connection program at Gateway Technical College to help students at risk of dropping out of high school graduate and gain job skills and training. 

The AT&T donation will fund a pilot program this fall through College Connection that will provide potential high school dropouts with the support and training they need to graduate and earn a technical college certification.

“AT&T continues to be a champion for the youth of our community.  The investment made through this grant will be used to enhance career planning and job skill development for students in the Gateway district,” said Dr. Bryan Albrecht, president and CEO of Gateway Technical College. 

With funding from AT&T, Gateway will pilot a program that will provide potential high school dropouts with the support and training to earn a recognized industry certification.  Students will complete their high school coursework and will begin coursework at Gateway to earn a technical college certification in a field of interest.  These industry certifications include welding, IT, horticulture and more. 

As part of the pilot, College Connection coaches will work with each student to determine which certification is best.  The pilot program is slated to begin in the fall of 2014. 

“This pilot is a great way to not only help more students graduate high school, but also prepare them for technical college and career opportunities,” said State Senator Bob Wirch (D-Somers).  “It is wonderful to see public-private partnerships like this making a positive difference for education and for our young people.”

College Connection is Gateway’s outreach program to K-12 school districts and the community. The goal of College Connection is that every high school senior in Elkhorn, Kenosha and Racine counties will graduate from high school with a postsecondary plan. 

“This is a great program because not only will it provide valuable job skills and training, it will also show at-risk students that they can be successful in a college environment,” said Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha).  “This pilot is a great example of what can be accomplished when business leaders, education leaders and other stakeholders work together to invest in and help prepare Wisconsin’s future workforce.” 

As a company, AT&T has a long-standing commitment to helping advance education.  An example of the company’s support of education is the AT&T Aspire program, one of the nation’s largest corporate initiatives committed to helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. 

In Wisconsin, AT&T also supports education through its AT&T Wisconsin Innovation & Investment Award program.  The program provides funding to organizations and programs that improve the community by: advancing education, enhancing the environment, promoting economic development, or delivering other community services. 

“We are very proud to support Gateway’s efforts to keep our youth in high school and prepare them for success after graduation by helping expand this pilot program,” said Scott T. VanderSanden, president of AT&T Wisconsin.  “As a company, AT&T is committed to investing in education and helping our young people succeed in academics and careers.”