Google Announces $100 Million Skills & Economy Initiative

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Google has now announced a new $100 million initiative to provide skills and economic opportunities through its Google.org division and nonprofit organizations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Primarily, the focus of the efforts will be on organizations that utilize technology for training purposes, to support workers in low-wage circumstances, and to help connect those looking for jobs with employment. More directly, Google wants to address the fact that as many as 64-percent of working-age adults in Europe have basic digital skills. On the other hand, only 38-percent of young people in either other region believe they’re given the skills needed to find good jobs once they leave school. So Google is placing emphasis on providing support for those in need of technical skills for the modern world. The initiative was announced on May 23 at the Tech for Good summit in Paris and is set to play out over the next five years.

The driving purpose of the new initiative, meanwhile, is nothing new for Google. From its efforts in generating a computer platform specifically geared at education – namely, Chrome OS – to other similar programs, Google is no stranger to humanitarian endeavors. In fact, its Grow with Google program has been running since 2015. The most recent of those was launched in Indianapolis in November. Of those who have participated in the program over its entire life, the company says that as many as 214,000 have successfully either found a new job or started a business of their own. No figures have been revealed, with regard to how many participants have been successful beyond that scope, but that’s a substantial number nonetheless.

Google’s efforts in this particular arena are undoubtedly useful to those starting out in less desirable circumstances, given the rapid expansion of technology in everyday life over the past decade. That expansion is not going to come to a stop any time soon and has created a requirement for a bare minimum of basic technology skills in most careers. While the search giant is hardly the only company taking part in these types of initiatives, it’s safe to say that this is one area where it has been putting its best foot forward.