Goodwill, Google expand successful program to provide digital skills training
MIDDLE TENNESSEE —Goodwill Industries International and Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, are expanding a successful program that provides digital skills training to U.S. workers.
The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator is designed to meet a range of needs — from basic keyboarding to advanced computer programming — to sharpen the digital skills of today’s workers and provide the necessary training that is specific to entry- and mid-level occupations. First announced in October 2017, the program is part of the Grow with Google initiative to create economic opportunities for all Americans.
In the next year, the joint program will grow from 93 locations in 34 states to 126 locations nationwide. Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee started the program in 2018 in Nashville as a means to provide digital skills to open the doors for job seekers.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more than seven million job openings in the United States, and advanced skills such as computer support or programming are increasingly essential for well-paying, in-demand careers for diverse populations across the country.
One year into a three-year, $10 million commitment from Google.org, the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator has already helped more than a quarter million job-seekers improve their digital skills awareness and connected nearly 30,000 job seekers and career advancers with employment. Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has reshaped how it responds to the digital economy with support from Google’s tools, resources, and talent. The program trains workers in a variety of skills relevant in today’s digital workplace, from basic digital literacy and productivity skills to information technology training, so that workers can keep their skills current in today’s rapidly shifting labor market.
“Many current employees and job-seekers lack digital confidence. The inability to complete an online application or to create a spreadsheet are barriers to employment or advancement within a company,” said Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas. “Goodwill believes that all people should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential through the power of work. Grow with Google and the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator are helping people build their digital confidence, which is why we are so excited to bring these services to the region.”
The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator trains workers in four digital skill levels:
- Digital Skills Awareness — Introduction to computers and information about digital skills
- Basic Digital Skills Training — Computer skills such as keyboarding, email, and social media
- Productivity Software Skills — Productivity tools such as word processors and spreadsheets
- Entry-Level Digital Skills — Training includes computer and network support and basic programming.
“The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator helps job-seekers and mid-career professionals attain the skills they need to find work and enhance their earnings potential,” said Steven C. Preston, president, and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Thanks to the early success of this program, Goodwill and Google.org are extending its reach to workers across the country as we aim to train more than 1.25 million workers with the digital skills needed to succeed in today’s job market and prepare for the changing workforce.”
Part of the success of the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator is fueled by Google.org’s commitment to provide 1,000 Google volunteers as trainers and mentors. To date, 200 volunteers have already helped to build workers’ digital skills. Additionally, seven Google.org Fellowsare embedded full-time at Goodwill locations across the country.
“This effort was made possible by the strong collaboration we’ve formed with Goodwill Industries International, building on the good work they do every day to help extend opportunity,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google. “We are proud of the work we’ve done together through the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator and look forward to continuing our work with them to equip more Americans with the digital skills they need to succeed.”
To view the impact report, visit http:/g.co/goodwillreport
About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 60 years, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. Goodwill’s vision is that all people will have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential through the power of work. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at www.giveit2goodwill.orgor by calling 1-800-545-9231.
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.