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Growing Skills, Going Nationwide: Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator® Blossoms

Goodwill®, Google Expand Successful Program to Provide Digital Skills Training

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Goodwill Industries International and Google.org, Google's philanthropic arm, are expanding a successful program that provides digital skills training to U.S. workers. The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator, is designed to meet a range of needs — from basic keyboarding to advanced computer programming — to sharpen the digital skills of today's workers and provide the necessary training that are specific to entry- and mid-level occupations. First announced in October 2017, the program is part of the Grow with Google initiative to create economic opportunities for all Americans. In the next year, the joint program will grow from 93 locations in 34 states to 126 locations nationwide.

Goodwill Industries International, Inc. Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Goodwill Industries International, Inc.) (PRNewsfoto/Goodwill Industries Internationa)

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more than seven million job openings in the United States, and advanced skills such as computer support or programming are increasingly essential for well-paying, in-demand careers for diverse populations across the country.

One year into a three-year, 10 million-dollar commitment from Google.org, the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator has already helped more than a quarter million job seekers improve their digital skills awareness and connected nearly 30,000 job seekers and career advancers with employment. The program trains workers in a variety of skills relevant in today's digital workplace, from social media to programming and network support, so that workers can keep their skills current in today's rapidly shifting labor market.

"The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator helps job seekers and mid-career professionals attain the skills they need to find work and enhance their earnings potential," said Steven C. Preston, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Thanks to the early success of this program, Goodwill and Google.org are extending its reach to workers across the country as we aim to train more than 1.25 million workers with the digital skills needed to succeed in today's job market and prepare for the changing workforce."

The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator trains workers in five digital skill levels:

  • Digital Skills Awareness – Introduction to computers and information about digital skills
  • Basic Digital Skills Training – Computer skills such as keyboarding, email and social media
  • Productivity Software Skills – Productivity tools such as word processors and spreadsheets
  • Entry-Level Digital Skills – Training includes computer and network support and basic programming.
  • Mid-level and Occupation-Specific Digital Skills – Includes using Customer Relationship Management System (CRMs), or technology needed for health care jobs, as an example

"This effort was made possible by the strong collaboration we've formed with Goodwill Industries International, building on the good work they do every day to help extend opportunity," said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google. "We are proud of the work we've done together through the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator, and look forward to continuing our work with them to equip more Americans with the digital skills they need to succeed."

Part of the success of the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator is fueled by Google.org's commitment to provide 1,000 Google volunteers as trainers and mentors. To date, 200 volunteers have already helped to build workers' digital skills. Additionally, seven Google.org Fellows are embedded full-time at Goodwill locations across the country.

ABOUT GOODWILL

Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 160 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 13 other countries. GII is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is recognized by GuideStar with its Platinum Seal of Approval, the organization's highest rating for charities. For the past three years, Goodwill was ranked in the top five brands that inspired consumers the most with its mission in the World Value Index, commissioned by the creative agency, enso. Goodwill has been on Forbes' list of top 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years, the only nonprofit featured on that list.

Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that offer job placement and training services, and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,300 stores collectively and online at  shopgoodwill.com ®.

Goodwill helps people facing challenges to finding employment, including people with disabilities, veterans and military families, youth and young adults, older workers, people reintegrating into society, and others working to advance their careers. Local Goodwill organizations build revenues and expand employment opportunities by contracting with commercial, state, government and non-government organizations to provide a wide range of business services, including janitorial and grounds maintenance, flexible staffing, food service, manufacturing and contracts packaging, reverse logistics, document imaging and shredding, and laundry services.

Last year, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed more than 288,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 36 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills, and more than two million people received in-person services.

Goodwill is both an icon and accessible neighbor: more than 82 percent of the U.S. population resides within 10 miles of a Goodwill location.

For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, visit goodwill.org, or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: GoodwillIntl.

ABOUT GOOGLE

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. 

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SOURCE Goodwill Industries International