Google boosts workers in U.S.
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.”