Google has now joined forces with Walmart to provide a total of $5 million in funding to three organizations that are working on solutions to retool the American workforce to keep up with changing workplace conditions. That's according to an announcement made via Google's official Keyword blog. The funds will go toward research into ways that the workforce can retain its vitality in the face of accelerated advancements rendering some jobs obsolete. Specifically, Google points to research suggesting that as many as one-third of Americans will need to switch to different occupations or learn new skills in their occupation by 2030. That's a massive undertaking which the search giant says Walmart has already been working to solve through investments in its own associates and programs centered around learning and advancement in the retail sector. So, the choice to team with Walmart on this new investment venture makes sense.
Moreover, the focus will not solely be on the employees. Instead, the primary goal is to balance the rapidly changing economy and workplace – and the advantages that can bring to various employers – with the need to create employment. To that end, these funds will be supplied to the Drucker Institute, Opportunity @ Work, and the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. Each organization has its own projects vying to find new ways to move economic progress forward. The first of those organizations will be partnering with South Bend, Indiana with hopes to create a national model for residential skill-building programs through an initiative called "City of Lifelong Learning." That will see integration between educational and workforce resources in an effort to ensure access to the career-saving programs. On the other hand, Opportunity @ Work will work to assist underserved groups through a new hiring channel purpose-built to focus on skills and competency. Finally, MIT's initiative will be able to expand on its Inclusive Innovation Challenge. That's a program which uses prizes to promote the use of technology by entrepreneurs in generating more broad impacts on economic opportunity and prosperity.
However, the company does warn that this investment, and singular efforts from organizations around the world, likely won't be enough to solve the problem. So the company seems to imply that further similar initiatives are on the way in its "pursuit of a more equitable and efficient labor market." This is also not the first initiative of its kind to be proposed or launched by the search giant. In fact, Google has already been actively funding and setting up work education programs around the globe in fields of science and technology. One such example comes in the form of a program called Google for Nigeria, which was launched midway through last year. That particular initiative sought to train 10 million Africans in Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria computing skills needed to pursue work in those fields. It went further to fund mentorships and workspaces for more than 60 startups on the continent. So this latest effort seems to be just the latest in an ongoing stream of attempts by Google to move industry and workforce forward.