Google Launches New Tech Training Programs
Google announced a new $1 billion investment in nonprofit organizations to boost tech training programs over the next five years. The investment is being made under the “Grow With Google” initiative. According to company executives, the goal is to allow anyone with an internet connection to become proficient with technology.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai believes that such programs are important to close the digital divide and ensure future economic growth. Pichai said, “We want to see how we can scale [these organizations] up or accelerate their work or make them better through technology.” Citing a World Economic Forum report, he said that one in three jobs “will require skills that aren’t common today” by 2020.
Google detailed its new initiative on Thursday at the company’s Pittsburgh office, far from the search giant’s Silicon Valley headquarters. Pichai noted the city’s transformation from an industrial manufacturing center to a hub of robotics and artificial intelligence engineering during a speech on the matter. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in the city are on the cutting edge of work on autonomous vehicles. Other big tech companies, including Uber and Amazon, also have offices there.
The initiative aims to teach small businesses how to improve their digital marketing, help job-seekers gain information technology certification, and teach anyone basic coding skills. The company will also provide free training, tools and events to help individuals cultivate their skills, careers or their businesses.
The initiative includes a $10 million donation to Goodwill Industries to help people learn digital skills at all of the nonprofit’s locations. It is the largest grant Google has awarded to a single organization. Company employees also will volunteer one million hours at those nonprofits. Around 2,600 full scholarships will be funded by Google, along with connecting graduates with potential employers, such as Bank of America, L’Oreal, PNC Bank, and Google.
Google said it will go on the road to spread the message about its new program. Stops are already planned for Indianapolis; Oklahoma City; Lansing, Mich.; and Savannah, Ga. Pichai said in his speech, “We know that technology will be an engine of America’s growth for years to come.” He continued, “The nature of work is fundamentally changing, and that is shifting the link between education, training and opportunity.”