Google.org and Goodwill, a 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 1 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, a press release states.
In the Northland, there are two GoodWORKS Career Centers that could benefit from some of these funds: at 9740 N. Cedar Ave. north of Liberty and at 4824 N. Oak Trafficway in Kansas City.
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, health care, 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 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.