As politics makes clear, there is no perfect way to approach America’s needs. Looking forward, we can only hope that we’re leaving an era of “agreeing to disagree” politics and jumping into one full of sincere ideas on ways to get our country on track. Government obviously matters, but great thinking and accomplishments matter more. In an arguably unlikely sector, tangible ideas on ways to invest in America are being tossed around and their effects are surprisingly barely talked about.
AT&T and its executives recently made some fairly impactful moves that both transform and relieve our country – examples both the public and private sector should follow. In the past four years, the company has developed groundbreaking initiatives through its AT&T Aspire program and its new broadband infrastructure rollout – Project Velocity IP (VIP). And since Hurricane Sandy left parts of New York City and New Jersey in devastation, the company has donated over $2 million in relief efforts.
It’s certainly an investment in America, but is one that draws different contrasts than the partisan-heavy moves we’re accustomed to.
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In 2008, AT&T Aspire became one of the most significant corporate educational initiatives in the U.S. The program works toward bridging the nation’s educational divide and promotes high school graduation rates within underserved American cities. AT&T has invested more than $100 million in the four years since it was launched in 2008. The program has already impacted more than one million U.S. high school students – preparing them for post-graduation.
Last week, the company announced that it is pushing forward with a $14 billion expansion plan to significantly enhance its network and services. The plan not only illustrates AT&T’s commitment to investing in America’s future, but establishing a quality service that will help every consumer – particular the underserved. The company appears to consistently establish an open forum regarding public interest concerns, while still remaining profitable. Something Washington has struggled with for quite some time now.
Yesterday, the company announced that it contributed $2 million to New York and New Jersey to assist local Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. These donations build on a $250,000 grant already made to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund and another $225,000 in grants to local nonprofits in the Tri-state region.
All in all, AT&T has a solid streak of taking action and truly investing in America’s future. Those taking note of AT&T’s approach will be hard-pressed to find another company that illustrates such a regard for its consumers. Corporate counterparts and Washington should still take note on how to invest, take risks, and, simply, how to think.