Nearly every facet of everyday life went virtual in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and education was one of the country’s biggest adjustments.
We previously told you about a number of local and national organizations deploying online resources to enhance, revamp, or add to their programming during this time. Last week, Google announced it was joining the trend: The global tech company is going virtual with all Grow with Google courses through the launch of Grow with Google OnAir.
For the first time, all programming—including training and workshops—is available for free online in the U.S. and Canada.
Launched in 2017, Grow with Google is an initiative that provides digital literacy workshops and one-on-one coaching through various partners. A network of more than 7,000 libraries, schools, and other organizations work with Google to host trainings in business skills, marketing, or management. All sessions are traditionally held in person or at Grow with Google’s learning center in New York City.
“Grow with Google’s mission is to help make the opportunities created by technology available to everyone,” Jesse Haines, director of Grow With Google, told Dallas Innovates. “To date, we’ve trained more than four million Americans in digital skills, but this is the first time all programming is available online.”
Grow with Google in North Texas
Course offerings vary by location, since training and tools are provided by partners in each local community. In Dallas-Fort Worth, those include Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth, Dallas Metropolitan Small Business Development Centers, and The League of United Latin American Citizens in Dallas.
Across the state, Haines says Google has partnered with more than 400 community organizations. Earlier this year, Grow with Google and all Texas partners joined forces to deliver training events in libraries for small businesses, nonprofits, and jobseekers.
“Google has proudly called Texas home for the last 13 years,” Haines says. “In 2019, we helped more than 1.35 million Texas businesses directly connect to their customers, and Texas small businesses and publishers using Google products like Search and Ads generated more than $26 billion of economic activity.”
Haines recommends anyone in the Dallas-Fort Worth area tune in to the upcoming Grow with Google OnAir workshops (which are also available in Spanish). Topics range from “How to power your job search with Google tools” to “How to get your local business on Google Search and Maps.”
Anyone who attends a session can also register for a free one-on-one coaching session with a Googler on a first come first served basis. Haines says coaching is tailored to help jobseekers and small business owners—especially on how they can enhance their digital presence.
“Half of all jobs require digital skills. And the extraordinary challenges currently facing the workforce are accelerating the need for people to learn how to use digital tools,” she says. “Digital skills are also essential for small businesses and entrepreneurs to successfully reach customers online and grow. Small businesses that use digital tools are nearly three times as likely to have created new jobs in the last year and see four times higher revenue growth.”
The Google IT Support Professional Certificate also assists in these critical skills.
Launched in 2018, the program helps people prepare for entry-level roles in IT support, no matter if they have experience or a degree. More than 9,000 people have enrolled in the certificate program in Texas, according to Haines. It’s offered at El Centro Community College in Dallas, but has been made available online through Coursera.
“Locally, we’re working closely with partners like Merit America—both to support learners who are completing the online coursework that will earn them this industry recognized certificate, and to help place them into careers with Dallas Fort Worth area employers,” she says. “We hope our new virtual programs will help people in Dallas and beyond get the right skills to find jobs they want, advance their careers, and grow their businesses.”
Go here for more information and to register for Grow With Google OnAir.
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