Google boosts work­ers in U.S.

The Mercury News Weekend - - BUSINESS - By Ethan Baron ebaron@ba­yare­anews­group.com

MOUN­TAIN VIEW » Google will give $1 bil­lion to non­profit groups over the next five years to pro­mote ed­u­ca­tion, op­por­tu­nity and di­ver­sity world­wide, CEO Sun­dar Pichai an­nounced Thurs­day.

The Moun­tain View search giant also launched a new ini­tia­tive to equip Amer­i­cans with the tech­no­log­i­cal skills to find jobs or be­come en­trepreneurs, Pichai said in a blog post.

This new U. S.-fo­cused “Grow with Google” pro­gram of­fers free train­ing, on­line tools and events to make peo­ple more em­ploy­able in a rapidly shift­ing job mar­ket.

“We rec­og­nize that there are large gaps in op­por­tu­nity across the U. S.,” Pichai said. “The na­ture of work is fun­da­men­tally chang­ing.”

Google’s move comes as the down­sides of tech­nol­ogy and the tech in­dus­try are in­creas­ingly in the spot­light, fromjob-killing au­to­ma­tion and un­equally dis­trib­uted dig­i­tal skills to the firm’s own strug­gles with work­force di­ver­sity.

At Carnegie Mel­lon Univer­sity, which houses a re­search cen­ter study­ing the ef­fects of emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies on work­ers of all skill lev­els, in­terim Pres­i­dent Far­nam Ja­ha­nian ap­plauded Google’s an­nounce­ment.

“With dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy trans­form­ing the econ­omy and the work­place, it is crit­i­cal that we shape edu-

cation and work­force de­vel­op­ment to make the most of the op­por­tu­ni­ties this rev­o­lu­tion pro­vides,” Ja­ha­nian said in a state­ment.

Along with the $1 bil­lion in grants in­tended to “im­prove the lives of as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble” around the world, Google will com­mit its work­ers to spend­ing a mil­lion vol­un­teer hours in the com­ing five years help­ing to pro­mote ed­u­ca­tion, ca­reer suc­cess and in­clu­sion glob­ally, the com­pany said.

“Our pro­grams and phil­an­thropic ef­forts aim to close the ed­u­ca­tion eq­uity gap through tech­nol­ogy, tools, and train­ing that help stu­dents and ed­u­ca­tors alike thrive,” Google said.

The $690 bil­lion firm pointed to eco­nomic mo­bil­ity as a key driver of pro­duc­tiv­ity.

“We are work­ing to en­sure more peo­ple have the skills they need to suc­ceed in a dig­i­tal world,” the com­pany said.

Google de­scribed the third el­e­ment of Grow with Google as “op­por­tu­nity to be heard,” and said di­verse per­spec­tives strengthen so­ci­ety.

The com­pany also an­nounced it would do­nate $10 mil­lion to Good­will, say­ing, “A thou­sand Googlers will help 1.2 mil­lion peo­ple ac­cess dig­i­tal skills and ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties in all 156 Good­wills across the coun­try over the next 3 years.”

Pichai

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