Keeping our Georgia communities connected – 140 years and counting
Posted by Venessa Harrison
With summer coming to a close and as we gear up for a strong finish to 2019, I’ve been reflecting on my first eight months in Georgia. This state — our state — is amazing, and it’s my privilege to have already gotten to know so many incredible Georgians, from AT&T colleagues to first responders to public policy leaders to those in the community that need us most. My sincere thanks to each of you for your support and dedication to serving our customers, our communities and each other.
As we continue to work together, we are growing Georgia’s economy and strengthening communities to build a brighter future for ALL.
We are fortunate to partner with so many wonderful organizations across this great state to help support those in need. From responding to families and businesses in the wake of natural disasters to empowering our youth with skills needed for success, I’m proud to share a few ways we are working to drive positive change.
Disaster Response At AT&T, we know how critical communications are, every day and especially during times of disaster. Our first priority is keeping our customers connected, including our FirstNet subscribers. When disasters strike, we recognize that communities need both immediate response and sustained recovery. In February 2019, we contributed $25,000 to Second Harvest of South Georgia, the leading hunger-relief organization in the region, to boost relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Michael. And, now, in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, our thoughts and attention are in the Bahamas as recovery and restoration continue from the catastrophic impact.
Girls Who Code – #SummerOfSkills For the 4th year running, AT&T supported a 7-week Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program in Atlanta, helping build a pipeline to success for area youth. Each week, the #SummerOfSkills participants were introduced to computer science principles through real-world projects in art, storytelling, robotics, game development, web development, and more. The 2019 Atlanta class graduated on July 25, joining a national sisterhood of girls who are using computer science to become change-makers.
AT&T BelievesSM – #BelieveAtlanta As part of our Believe AtlantaSM efforts to help minimize the wealth gap and connect Westside residents to a positive future, AT&T contributed $250,000 to Westside Works. Our contribution will help Westside Works to expand its CommunityNET program, increasing access to critical services that foster job preparation and career success. In addition to providing financial support, Believe Atlanta is hosting Career Days for Westside Works’ participants. On a regular basis, AT&T employees along with T-University are providing one-on-one instruction in resume development, interview preparation, digital literacy and job search skilling.
Georgia General Assembly I’m also excited to share good news on the legislative front. In April, Governor Kemp signed SB66 — legislation that standardizes the deployment of small cell infrastructure. With billions of dollars dedicated to enhancing mobile broadband, AT&T is now accelerating our wireless build plans across Georgia to boost customer experiences today, support 5G and prepare for future technologies.
Diversity & Inclusion At AT&T, we are dedicated to making our world a better and more equal place. We know a diverse and inclusive workforce is a stronger workforce. We understand engaging with diverse communities is not only the best thing to do, but also the right thing to do. To strengthen our outreach and connections, we recently introduced our national Dream in Black program.
I am proud that our company and our people drive positive change, and I’d like to acknowledge the great work our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) do to provide opportunities and connections for us as employees as well as another way for us to work together to make a difference in our communities.
Georgia Connections – 140 Years and Counting Our entire business relies on connections, and we’ve been proudly connecting Georgians for 140 years. We look forward to many more connections and many more years to come in Georgia.
Again, my sincere thanks to each of you for your work to make our business a success for others and our world a better place for all.
As president of AT&T’s Georgia operations, Venessa is responsible for the company’s public policy, economic development and community affairs activities across the Peach State. She was named to the position in November 2018.