GOODWILL® AND GOOGLE.ORG LAUNCH
DIGITAL CAREER ACCELERATORSM
Groundbreaking new national initiative will equip 1.2 million people with vital digital skills
Goodwill of Western Missouri & Eastern Kansas will receive a $50,000 grant to expand Quest Academy
Kansas City, Missouri (Dec. 20, 2017) — Google.org and Goodwill, the United States’ leading workforce development nonprofit, have announced the launch of the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator. Funded by a $10 million grant from Google.org and with the assistance of 1,000 Google volunteers, the new Goodwill initiative will enable more than one million people — including people with disabilities and disadvantages, youth, older workers, veterans and military families, and people who are transitioning back into society — to receive digital skills training over the next three years.
The Digital Career Accelerator $50,000 grant will support the efforts of Goodwill of Western Missouri & Eastern Kansas to launch a three phase expansion of Quest Academy. Quest Work Experience offers soft skills training coupled with a real-life practical application of employment through a six week paid work experience. Quest Gateway will launch in 2018 as the second tier, offering “gateway” credentials into high demand industries like information technology, healthcare, skilled trades and life sciences. In 2019, Goodwill of Western Missouri & Eastern Kansas will launch a third tier, Quest Technical, to support those in Quest Gateway entering community college for additional skills training.
“Together, Goodwill and Google are helping people advance their skills and change their lives,” said Jim Gibbons, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “This exciting investment from one of the world’s most innovative technology and digital leaders will help Goodwill organizations across the country equip more than a million people with the digital skills they need to advance their careers. I’m proud of the work Google and local Goodwill organizations will accomplish together.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more than 6 million job openings in the United States. Many of these jobs remain unfilled because job applicants lack specific skills employers report they need. This innovative initiative will allow Goodwill organizations to enhance their job training programs to incorporate the ever-changing demand for new skills in the digital economy. As part of the Digital Career Accelerator, 1,000 Google employees will volunteer with Goodwill organizations over the next three years to provide training and career coaching sessions.
“Goodwill’s mission to empower people with disadvantages and different abilities to earn and keep employment perfectly aligns with this partnership,” stated Interim President and CEO Kevin Bentley. “We are thrilled that this will enable us to help people advance their skills and change their lives,” said Bentley. “This exciting investment from one of the world’s most innovative technology and digital leaders will help us expand Quest Academy to equip more people with the career planning and employment readiness skills they need to advance their careers.”
“Goodwill is the leading workforce development nonprofit in the United States and Google is proud to support them as they prepare more than 1 million people across the country to get the critical digital skills they need to be successful today and in the future,” said Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org. “We both share a commitment to create opportunities for everyone, and we’re excited to amplify Goodwill’s amazing work through our giving and Google volunteers.”
About Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 162 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 13 other countries. GII is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is recognized by GuideStar with its Platinum Seal of Approval, the organization’s highest rating for charities. GII was also ranked by Enso as the #1 brand doing the most good in the world for two consecutive years, and was the only nonprofit brand rated in Forbes’ 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years. Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that create job training programs, employment placement, and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,200 stores collectively and online at shopgoodwill.com®. Local Goodwill organizations also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and governments to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food services preparation, and document imaging and shredding. Last year, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed more than 313,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 35 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills, and more than 2 million people received in-person services. To learn more, visit goodwill.org.
For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at Goodwill.org or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl or Instagram: GoodwillIntl.
About Goodwill of Western Missouri & Eastern Kansas
Goodwill of Western Missouri & Eastern Kansas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency whose mission is to empower people with disadvantages and different abilities to earn and keep employment through individualized programs and services. In 2016, nearly 1.5 million purchases and 490,000 donations funded our mission. 90¢ of every dollar Goodwill spends supports the mission locally with programs like Quest Academy which gives urban youth with disadvantages and different abilities a real-life work experience and soft skills to enter the workforce, GoodWORKS Career Resource Centers, which provide free career exploration assistance and is open to the public, and the Career Impact Program that pairs individuals with different abilities with career navigators and career coaches to succeed in the workplace.
Goodwill has a rich history of more than 120 years of service in and around Kansas City. The agency has 14 stores with additional donation sites and GoodWORKS Career Resource Centers.
Goodwill is a leader in sustainability, annually diverting 15 million pounds of computers, paper, clothing and textiles from area landfills, recovering the value through resale and recycle.
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.
Suzanne Gunning, Vice President of Community Engagement
Mershon & McDonald, LLC
6000 Oak Street
Kansas City, MO 64113