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May 18, 2020
Local broadcasters across the country are providing financial and job search assistance to their viewers and listeners to help ease the economic pressures heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stations are highlighting local job openings, giving checks to furloughed workers and more.
WKMG Orlando recently launched the Make Ends Meet initiative, a budget guidance plan for viewers looking to cut back on spending during the COVID-19 crisis. The station is working with a certified financial planner and lawmakers, including Sen. Rick Scott (FL), to help communities deal with economic challenges during the pandemic. The “Make Ends Meet” initiative has yielded immediate dividends and motivated viewers to donate thousands of dollars to help others in the community after seeing profiles aired on the local station.
WJLA Washington, D.C., partnered with Easterns Automotive Group to form Helping Hands, a program that donates money to people who are giving back to their community. Recently, the program surprised a furloughed Salvation Army employee with a $2,000 check to thank him for continuing to volunteer despite being furloughed.
KWJJ Portland’s morning show has added a weekly On Air Job Fair segment to help listeners looking for work. Every Wednesday morning, the show brings local hiring managers on air to promote their job openings.
KOYY Fargo has set aside $10,000 of their promotional budget to pay bills for their listeners. As many people face financial difficulty during the pandemic, KOYY invites listeners to submit their bills for consideration and hopes to ease some of their community’s anxiety.
Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations division are presenting grants to 69 organizations in 11 markets that are using innovation to tackle everyday problems and urgent COVID-19 needs in their communities.
NBC and Telemundo owned stations in cities across the country have awarded up to $225,000 in Project Innovation grants to nonprofit organizations in their markets.
Grant awardees include Washington, D.C.’s Tenants and Workers United, which is using its grant to create an emergency fund to support individuals who cannot pay rent because they have been affected by COVID-19. They are also using the grant to increase their advocacy efforts on behalf of individuals who face evictions proceedings by petitioning state and local lawmakers in Virginia to protect tenants’ rights.
Another grant recipient, Branches in Miami, provides life-changing opportunities to working families and their children to break the cycle of generational poverty. The organization continues to serve students virtually through its YouTube channel and on social media and provides hot meals and offers emergency rent support to those affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Hartford’s McEIVR, Inc. will dedicate its grant funding to supporting their “Innovation and Beyond: 3D Printing for the New-collar Workforce” program that provides job opportunities. McEIVR recently launched a community project to manufacture face shields and other personal protective equipment. The group is also hosting virtual meetups and providing online classes and workshops to help individuals prepare for job opportunities.
Your local broadcasters are on the front lines providing critical support to their communities, even as they struggle from a steep decline in advertising revenue. Read more stories about broadcasters’ public service at BroadcastPublicService.org.
More than 2.47 million American jobs depend on broadcasting, and the local broadcast radio and television industry - and the businesses that depend on it - generate $1.17 trillion annually for the nation's economy.