Tech giant Google has announced that its Google.org arm will be donating $2.5 million to four different nonprofits whose work falls in the area of future employment and social safety nets for needy and at-risk individuals. This is part of a $50 million initiative from Google.org called The Future of Work, and is focused on helping people around the world gain the skills and experience they need to stay viable in today's changing job market and in the tech-focused workforce of the future. The operations of the four nonprofits that Google chose, naturally, fall along those general lines for the most part, though there is also a focus on social safety nets for those who may struggle to adapt or be unable to work the right job or get enough done to make ends meet for one reason or another.
The first nonprofit on the list is The Workers Lab, who will be using money from Google.org and a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to build out a product that will provide a financial safety net for low-wage workers and contractors or freelancers who don't earn enough money. The Aspen Institute is doing something similar, using Google.org's support to build a network of information about the gig economy and how to stay afloat in it, as well as some social safety net resources for freelancers. Another nonprofit is the Economic Security Project, who is focused on expanding the United States' Earned Income Tax Credit to more workers, and fighting for the option to be paid out monthly in order to help low-income workers budget for survival. Finally, co-operative businesses wherein freelancers band together to pool talent and resources in their niches will be getting a boost from The New School's Platform Co-Op Consortium, which will be partnering up with OCAD University's Inclusive Design Research Center.
Much of the manual and service economy is already beginning to shift toward outsourcing and automation in key markets, and that trend seems poised to only continue in the future. Along with that, artificial intelligence technology is growing at breakneck speed in almost all fields, promising to overtake a wide range of currently human-driven functions in the working world. It is partly for these reasons that Google.org is helping to get people into the growing gig economy and train them to take on today's digital job market.