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Google creates $100M training fund for good tech jobs

The Google Career Certificates Fund will provide no-interest loans for 20,000 Americans to get training and support to move into high-paying, high-growth jobs in tech.
(Lagos Techie/Unsplash)

Google today announced a new $100 million Google Career Certificates Fund designed to help 20,000 Americans get training and career placement support to move into good jobs in tech.

Participants will learn job-ready skills in fields like data analytics, IT support, project management, and UX design within three to six months. Google’s certificate program will provide the tech curriculum, and the nonprofits Merit America and Year Up will provide additional skills training, career services, and wrap-around supports.

The details: The $100 million will be invested through another nonprofit, Social Finance, which will provide financing to the training partners.

  • Learners will face no up-front costs for their training, but will be given interest-free loans they are expected to repay if their salaries hit at least $40,000 a year. Tuition fees will vary by program and training provider, but loan payments will be around $100 a month for up to five years.
  • In addition to Google, about 150 companies have joined an employer consortium to hire the certificate completers.
  • Google estimates the new investment could drive $1 billion in wage gains over the 10-year life of the fund. Merit America, for example, says that the typical learner who completes its program goes from making $25,000 to $50,000 a year.

“What we’ve learned over the past five years is what can be accomplished when private sector companies like ours come together with public sector institutions and nonprofit partners,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet.

The new investment will rapidly expand the work of the tech giant’s training arm, Grow with Google, Pichai said in an event with reporters. Launched in 2017, the organization has equipped more than 8 million Americans with a range of digital skills, the company said. And more than 70,000 learners have earned one of its career certificates.

Last year, the company made its certificate programs free to all community colleges and to career and technical education programs at high schools across the country.

The U.S. Department of Commerce praised the company’s commitment to expanding job training in tech—with Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, joining an event to announce the new fund. 

“This builds on the Biden administration’s laser focus on creating good jobs for more Americans,” Castillo said.

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