Bed-Stuy based nonprofit Bridge Street Development Corporation (BSDC) has been named one of 50 recipients of a Microsoft grant program to accelerate job training and digital skills development in Black communities.

Microsoft Corporation’s competitive community skills grant program has been designed to support professional skills development programs, and for BSDC that will mean supporting young adults aged 16-24 in Bed-Stuy and Central Brooklyn.

BSDC President and CEO Gregory Anderson said the corporation was honored to receive the “critically important, and highly impactful” grant award.

“The economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating rate of global digital transformation marks this as an important time for Bridge Street Development to expand its professional skills development programs,” he said.

He added, African American and communities of color had been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and BSDC was working in the communities it served to ensure an equitable economic recovery.

Microsoft’s program is composed of a multi-year unrestricted cash grant, plus leadership development opportunities from industry experts. Combined, the program will strengthen BSDC’s networks and support the professional development of the nonprofit’s leaders.

BSDC will also receive technology enablement support from Microsoft, which will provide software and digital consulting services to support the organization’s digital transformation.

Microsoft Philanthropies Lead and VP Kate Behncken said last June the company’s CEO Satya Nadella committed Microsoft to put its data, technology and partnerships to work to improve the lives of Black and African American people across the country.

“We’re proud to partner with these organizations, led by and serving Black and African American people that are providing access to the digital skills needed for so many jobs today,” she said.

“We’re inspired by their work, and excited we can be a part of it.”

BSDC Senior Programs Director Oma Holloway said the grant funding would be used to enhance the 14-week Opportunity Youth Internship and Summer Youth Employment programs that give young adults aged 16-24 a myriad of certification and digital skills development trainings.

“Our objective and mission at Bridge Street Development is to address the need for young adults of color to have relevant skills and free access to learning paths and certifications towards in-demand jobs and mentorship,” she said.

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