Google.org has today announced that it has set aside $50 million to be used to help job searchers deal with the “changing nature of work.” The money is specifically being earmarked for nonprofits and is designed to ensure that as technology evolves and jobs change, those looking for jobs maintain the ability to firstly find them, and secondly, secure them.
At the moment, the initiative represents a two-year commitment from Google and has already identified grantees in the US and Europe. Although the announcement does detail that it expects the initiative to expand to other countries and regions in due course. At present, the now-confirmed first grantees of the initiative include Bayes Impact, Code for America, Social Finance and the National Domestic Workers Alliance. While jobs will likely be the main motivator for selection by Google.org, it does also seem that some grantees will be selected based on how they utilize technology as a means to help people find work. With Google noting that innovation is the key here and drawing on examples like Bayes Impact - which makes use of machine learning to improve job posting results, or Code for America - which Google.org notes has used technology to create new ways for job searchers to find jobs through government services.
Google.org identifies three key areas in which it expects its grants to have the most impact. The first is simply the ability to improve the connection between those looking for jobs and actual job vacancies. The second is to try to ensure that training has the impact that it should, with a specific focus on training being 'effective and wide-reaching.' While the third revolves around job quality improvement for low-wage workers. Although the announcement does also point out that an unofficial goal of the initiative is to help inspire other companies, organizations, and even governments to “create a more inclusive economy for everyone.” In addition to the main announcement, a dedicated site page on Google.org is now available and provides a greater amount of information on the new initiative. As well as drawing on other aspects that Google has undertaken recently to improve the issues surrounding job searching. Such as the recently-announced Google for Jobs feature which looks to utilize the power of Google Search to help job searchers find available and suitable jobs.