The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator, a collaboration between Goodwill Industries International and Google, seeks to help workers learn the skills necessary for employment in the digital age. These skills can help change the lives of Americans while also helping the economy. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are currently more than 6 million job openings in the United States. Many of these jobs remain unfilled because job applicants lack the specific skills employers need.
In October 2017, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Grow with Google, an initiative to help Americans gain the skills they need to get a job or grow their business through $1 billion in grants over five years and 1 million hours of volunteer hours from Google employees. As part of this grant, Google collaborated with Goodwill Industries International to launch the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator®, which is funded by a $10.3 million grant and supported by 1,000 Google volunteers. Through the initiative, up to 126 local Goodwill organizations will equip more than a million people —including youth, older workers, veterans and military families, people with disabilities or disadvantages, and people who are transitioning back into society—with digital skills over three years.
During GoogleServe month in June, 139 Googlers across the country volunteered at 17 local Goodwill organizations. Google volunteers provided their time and service across three focused areas:
- Digital Skills and Job Search Training: job seeker and Goodwill staff were trained and coached on everything from computer use to mock interviews and resume review workshops. They learned to use Google for Jobs and G Suite.
- Google AdGrants Consultations: Participants learned strategies and how to track results and define success using Google AdWords.
- Website Enhancement Reviews: Web and UI/UX Developers worked with local Goodwill organizations to improve their websites. This was supported by Google’s Mobile Web Services Team that specializes in helping users determine their high priority conversion goals (e.g. as signing up for training, finding a donation or store location) and building customized recommendations to maximize those conversions.
The results were convincing and came in from around the country. The Workforce Development Senior Manager for Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley (Frederick, MD) reported that, thanks to the knowledge gained at the training on Google’s digital literacy courses, participants in their employment skills day program were able to complete courses and start their own online businesses. The training, which occurred during GoogleServe month, built the confidence of employment coaches and managers, and the Googlers were enthusiastic and wonderful to work with.
At Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee (Nashville, TN), Google volunteers have been integral to several events throughout the year. At a train-the-trainer session, Goodwill employees received tools and training to help them incorporate G-suite products and information on internet safety into their digital literacy class.
In October 2018, Google arranged an IT Tech Talk with the Operations Manager at the Clarksville, TN Google data center. Attendees asked questions about working in IT and the interview process at Google. Ninety-four percent of survey respondents said they felt better prepared to search for IT jobs after attending the session and would recommend it to others. Several attendees began pursuing enrollment in the Google IT Support Professional Certificate course, an innovative curriculum that prepares learners for entry-level jobs in IT.
Googlers held two Google for Job Seekers events with Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee where Googlers trained attendees on G-Suite and other digital literacy skills. One hundred percent of survey respondents indicated they felt better prepared to search for jobs after attending the session and that they would recommend the event to other job seekers.