Google grants scholarships to Goodwill 

Registration for classes in Middle, West Tennessee under way

NASHVILLE — Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has kicked off a partnership with Google and Coursera, a leading online education provider, to help learners acquire the skills they need to start a career in information technology. With cutting-edge courses, hands-on labs and more, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate being offered through Goodwill Career Solutions is designed to take beginning learners to job readiness in eight to 12 months.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this valuable program free-of-charge to qualified Middle and West Tennessee residents who are interested in launching an IT career,” said Goodwill President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas. “This program perfectly aligns with our mission of changing lives through education, training and employment.”

Google.org is providing scholarships and full financial assistance to 10,000 learners over the next year. A portion of those seats are with Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee and other nonprofit partners. Those who complete the program will have the opportunity to share their resumés with top companies across industry sectors and across the country who are hiring entry-level IT support, including Bank of America, Walmart, Sprint, GE Digital, PNC Bank, Infosys, TEKSystems, UPMC and Google.

This first-of-its-kind IT certificate will give aspiring professionals a hands-on IT experience. Through Coursera’s platform, learners will be able to learn on the go with short engaging videos interspersed with interactive labs that simulate on-the-job troubleshooting.

Students receiving scholarships through Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennesee will receive not only the online instruction but also hands-on learning and support services, such as job placement assistance. Registration for classes is now under way.

Just last year, there were 150,000 job postings for IT Support roles in the United States alone. IT support roles are in high demand and are expected to grow 10 percent in the United States by 2026. That’s faster than average for all other occupations.

“Finding qualified IT personnel is a challenge many companies face. With 150,000 open roles in IT support, it is one of the fastest growing occupations in the country,” said Ben Fried, vice president and chief information officer at Google. “We developed this curriculum to address this problem head on. We are looking forward to working with Coursera, our nonprofit grantees and participating corporations to create opportunities for thousands of learners.”

Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, added that as technology advances change or replace more jobs, additional pathways are needed for people to move into the new, high-paying careers of the future.

“We are excited to work with Google, nonprofits, and top employers to grow a pipeline of skilled workers and give them the resources they need to succeed as IT professionals,” he said.

To learn more about the Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee scholarship program with Google and the IT Support Professional Certificate on Coursera, please email training@givegw.org or call 1(800)545-9231.

Amye Anderson is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached at amye@ucbjournal.com.