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Houston selected for Facebook's Community Boost project

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(CNN Image)

HOUSTON – Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that Houston will host the first phase of its Community Boost project that will launch next year. 

The project is designed to help small businesses and non-profit organizations grow and help Houstonians become skilled to communicate online.  Facebook said the program is also designed to help people who are transitioning to careers that require digital skills. 

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he is proud to welcome Facebook to Houston. 

"I’m glad that Facebook recognized that one of the first five cities to benefit from this program should be Houston," Turner said. "(The city is) the most diverse...in the nation, the largest economic engine of Texas and a proving ground not only for innovation in tech, energy, medicine and space exploration but also for mom-and-pop small businesses that reflect all the cultures of America and the globe."

The other cities to be named in the program are St. Louis, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Des Moines, Illinois, Greensville, South Carolina.

Facebook said it will help people with different skill sets: 

For entrepreneurs: Training programs on how to use technology to turn an idea into a business or show you ways to create a free online presence using Facebook.

For business owners: Offer ways your business can expand its digital footprint and find new customers, both locally and around the world.

For online beginners: Training on digital literacy and online safety. Also, learn how to use Facebook to create events and groups.

After its launch, Facebook said its Community Boost project will extend to 25 other U.S. cities.