Byte Back Wins $1 Million CAD TD Grant to Expand to Baltimore


Tech inclusion nonprofit to scale into Baltimore as an innovative TD Ready Challenge winner

Toronto, ON and Washington, DC, October 24, 2018 – Today, TD announced Byte Back as one of 10 recipients of the 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 a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that connects communities with inclusive tech training and pathways into living-wage careers. With the CDN $1 million investment, Byte Back will expand into Baltimore in 2019 and begin to fully explore a national expansion. This is the first time in 21 years that the nonprofit has expanded outside the Washington, DC region.

The technology skills gap Byte Back addresses isn’t unique to its home region. In the US, 28 million adults are living in poverty. Since 2002, the US 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 haven’t had the opportunity 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 and set 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 Elizabeth Lindsey, executive director of Byte Back. “We’re really dreaming now about what it looks like for our impact to expand to hundreds and thousands more people across the country.”

About the TD Ready Challenge

Acting as a springboard for social innovation, TD established the TD Ready Challenge to identify and support scalable solutions to a specific issue identified within The Ready Commitment. In its inaugural year, the issue of focus for the TD Ready Challenge was helping to increase income stability and encouraged non-for-profit organizations across North America that are working on innovative solutions to help increase income stability and help improve the skills people will need for the economy of the future. In total, TD granted $10 million (CDN) under the 2018 Challenge.

From over 200 submissions, TD shortlisted 15 semi-finalists who presented their solutions on September 7, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario. These semi-finalists were then judged in two rounds by a panel composed of TD executives and external subject matter experts, including Linda Nazareth, economist and trends expert, and Jennifer Tescher, president and CEO, Centre for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI). Ten finalists were then chosen by the panel at the close of the second round. 

About Byte Back

Byte Back connects communities with inclusive tech training and pathways into living-wage careers. For 21 years, its innovative training pathway has helped hundreds of graduates move from low tech skills to recognized certifications and into careers that use technology.

Byte Back’s TD Ready Challenge Solution: Byte Back Ready – Proven Pathways to Economic Success

  • Byte Back will scale its inclusive training pathway from the Washington, DC region into Baltimore, helping more people enter life-changing careers and fully participate in the digital economy.

2018 TD Ready Challenge grantees include:

  • ACCES Employment (Canada – Ontario): Women in Technology
    • Recognizing emerging high-growth areas in STEM, ACCES Employment will provide immigrant women with training, employer connections and experiential learning to help secure and retain competitive employment in programming and cybersecurity, in collaboration with Seneca College. 
  • Canada Learning Code (Canada – Ontario): Unlocking the Power of Code – Digital Literacy Education for Adults
    • This education initiative will offer hands-on, accessible learning experiences for mid-career individuals to increase their digital literacy and technological knowledge to thrive in a rapidly-changing job market, while acting as a bridge for adults interested in making a career shift into technology. 
  • École des entrepreneurs de Québec (Canada – Québec): Prévisio Software with Financial Literacy Training
    • To address the challenge of financial forecasting for entrepreneurs as they evaluate the viability of their projects, this program will enhance capabilities and tools to help increase entrepreneurs’ financial literacy and enable them to make strategic decisions based on business results.
  • Immigrant Access Fund Canada (Canada – Alberta): Increasing Income Stability for Skilled Immigrants
    • This program will increase income stability for newcomers with a program providing low-interest loans of up to $10,000 to skilled immigrants to fund the costs of training and recertification, while offering support and guidance to unlock participants’ past education and experience.
  • JEVS Human Services (US – Pennsylvania): JEVS-College for America – Greater Philadelphia Area
    • A collaborative effort with Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America (CfA), this initiative will address the inaccessibility of post-secondary education for those from low-income families by offering the opportunity for individuals to attend employer-driven degree programs, while providing direct access to living wage opportunities.
  • Jobs for the Future (JFF) and Audacious Futures (Cross-Border – Massachusetts): Scaling AudaciousYou – the Google Maps for the Future of Work and Learning
    • AudaciousYou, a personalized, research-backed, AI-powered upskilling/reskilling solution, will be scaled to help empower workers at risk from automation and a changing world of work to develop future-ready skills and connect to job opportunities by employing a holistic approach, including video and AI technologies.
  • Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) (US – Pennsylvania): Creating Income Security through Technology-Based Workforce Development
    • A partnership between PHMC and Homeworks N’ Camden, a local nonprofit, this initiative will work with young adults to build towards a sustainable future by blending intensive coding with technology skills through a nationally-recognized workforce development curriculum.
  • Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology (Canada – Ontario): TD-HELIX Transformation Initiative
    • To tackle the challenge of reskilling mid-career professionals whose jobs might be impacted by changes in the labour market, the program will change their ‘career DNA’ and improve individuals’ skills as creative thinkers, problem-solvers, communicators and collaborators.
  • The WoodGreen Foundation (Canada – Ontario): Accelerating Possibilities – Creating Sustainable Pathways to Success in a Changing Landscape
    • This initiative will bring together and scale four of WoodGreen’s most successful advancement programs in an innovative accelerator program to position mid-career participants for financial stability and sustainable employment.

TD Ready Challenge  is part of The Ready Commitment, a multi-year program targeting CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving.

To learn more about the grant recipients and the TD Ready Challenge, visit www.td.com/readychallenge. Additional details about The Ready Commitment can be found at td.com/thereadycommitment.

 About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (“TD” or the “Bank”). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 25 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world’s leading online financial services firms, with approximately 12 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.3 trillion in assets on July 31, 2018. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol “TD” on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.


For further information on TD: Canada: Natasha.ferrari@td.com, 416-983-7180; U.S.: Lisa Martucci-Thibault, Lisa.Martucci-Thibault@td.com, 1-609-937-0975

For further information on Byte Back: Yvette Scorse, yscorse@byteback.org, 202-525-3150 or Chris Miller, cmiller@byteback.org, 202-525-3157

 


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