As part of its broader efforts to support economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic, Google has announced an expansion of its partnership with Goodwill to help more people from disadvantaged communities in the US and Canada get training in digital skills and literacy.
As per Google:
“Google.org is announcing a $14 million reinvestment in the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator. This includes grants and in-kind support to help Goodwill continue to provide digital training pathways and support job placement for people seeking jobs.”
Google initially launched its Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator (GDCA) program back in 2019, with $10 million in funding, designed to help 1.2 million Americans get the digital skills they need to maximize their opportunities for success in the modern job market.
Google’s now expanding its financial support for the program by an additional $7 million, which will include Google.org grants, as well as an additional $7 million in donated Search ads designed to help Goodwill reach more than 200,000 people across North America.
“The funds support infrastructure development and expansion, like tracking systems for hiring and training that will improve the reach and effectiveness of Goodwill’s services at the local level.”
Finally, through its Google.org Fellowship, ten Google employees will be assigned, full-time, to helping Goodwill better reach job seekers online so they can connect with local Goodwill career coaches.
The funding couldn’t come at a more critical time, with many people now working to re-establish their life and career after two years of disruption caused by the pandemic.
Making this even more pressing, according to recent reports, several million US workers who dropped out of the workforce due to the pandemic are now planning to stay out indefinitely due to ongoing fears around contracting the virus.
That underlines the need for alternative work options to reinvigorate the economy, and digital skills training could play a critical role here, in leaning into the increased demand for flexible work arrangements, while also aligning with skills demand.
According to data from LinkedIn, published last month, digital marketing skills are in high demand, while 62% of working Americans are considering a job change in 2022.
Goodwill has already helped more than a million people gain digital awareness and new digital skills through the initiative, while more than 300,000 people have been placed in jobs as a result of the training.
The benefits are clear, while the training programs also help Google to reinforce key digital marketing fundamentals, which could help to improve the broader digital marketplace.
It’s a good program, and it’s good to see Google looking to provide support and training where it’s most needed.