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Goodwill® and Google.Org Announce First Round of Nationwide Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator(SM) Recipients

WASHINGTON, DC— Google.org and Goodwill, the United States’ leading workforce development nonprofit, have joined forces to launch the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator. Funded by a $10 million grant from Google.org and with the assistance of 1,000 Google volunteers, this new Goodwill initiative will mobilize 125 local, community-based Goodwill organizations as they equip more than one million people with expanded and enhanced digital skills training over the course of three years. Sixty-seven Goodwill organizations were competitively chosen and will be part of the first round. The second round will occur in spring 2018. Trainees will include people seeking career advancement who need additional skills and who have limited work experiences; people with disabilities and/or disadvantages; youth and young adults; older workers; veterans and military family members, and people who are transitioning back into their communities. With these digital skills, job seekers and career advancers will make themselves more marketable and better able to advance in today’s labor market.

Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International; Florian Maganza, Google.org portfolio manager; and Jesse Haines, director for Grow with Google, spoke at a kickoff event for the initiative at the Omni Shoreham in  Washington, D.C. this morning. The kickoff launched a three-day training event with Google volunteers and representatives from community-based Goodwill organizations from across the United States focused on equipping the digital workforce of the future. Topics included, Grow with Google tools, digital skills needs in rural America, using social media as a recruitment tool, the effective use of Google AdWords, and other learning objectives.

With this investment, local U.S. Goodwill organizations have three options for participation in the grant based on their current digital skills training operations, capacity to initiate, enhance or expand digital skills training, and local labor market demand. Those three options include, Digital Change Agents, Digital Champions and Digital Enthusiasts.

Ten local Goodwill organizations have been chosen to be Digital Change Agents, receiving a $300,000 grant and serving as leaders in digital skills expansion and training across the network. Seventy-five local Goodwill organizations will participate as Digital Champions in three cohorts of 25. Each Digital Champion will receive a $50,000 grant and engage in extensive learning and technical assistance opportunities to help enhance and expand training offerings. An additional 14 local Goodwill organizations were chosen to participate in the second cohort of Digital Champions and eleven more will be recruited in early 2018. Eighteen local Goodwill organizations are participating as Digital Enthusiasts with an $8,000 grant to participate in learning events. The remaining Goodwill organizations will be recruited in 2018 for a total of 125 participating Goodwill organizations.

“With the ten million dollar investment from Google.org and the talent invested by Googler volunteers, local, community-based Goodwill organizations will be empowered to be key places where job seekers can build their digital skills. From becoming aware of digital career opportunities to learning basic digital skills to earning credentials from entry level to middle skills, Google.org’s investment will equip people to advance their careers and improve their lives,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Career navigation leads to long-term economic stability for individuals, their families and the greater community. Together with Google, we are helping people change their lives and their families’ lives.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more than 6 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. This innovative initiative will empower Goodwill organizations to enhance their job training programs to equip their employees, job seekers and career advancers with the ever-growing demand for new skills in the digital economy.

“We announced a ten million Google.org grant to Goodwill Industries International to launch the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator exactly two months ago,” said Jacquelline Fuller, president of Google.org. “We’re excited to see this first cohort of Goodwill organizations from across the country come together and receive digital skills coaching from Google employees. This is only the beginning and we look forward to seeing our employee volunteers work alongside Goodwill to support their goal of equipping 1.2 million people with the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly digital economy.”