The kickoff event was part of “Grow with Google,” a new initiative that was launched last October to help create job opportunities for Americans in a tech-driven economy.
As part of the initiative, Google allocated $10 million in grants for a workforce development program with Goodwill Industries. This included $300,000 for work with Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey.
“By making the right investments today, the United States will have a workforce with expertise in new technologies, new ideas and new jobs that will give American workers access to new opportunities,” Congressman Joseph Crowley said.
He was joined by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Congressman Ro Khanna, who represents Silicon Valley in California.
“Technology-based jobs are the future of a prosperous American economy,” Khanna said. “We must continue to make the proper investments and ensure that communities like Astoria have the skills they need to participate and thrive.”
The training session focused on resume-building and helped Goodwill learners highlight their digital skills from previous jobs for potential employers, as well as honing new types of skills for tech-related jobs.
According to Carley Graham Garcia, head of external affairs for Google in New York City, the skills required for previous jobs such as receptionist or teachers have been redefined by new digital tools.
“If we can enable job seekers to have those new skills, it just puts them at a more competitive place in the workforce,” she said.
Katy Gaul-Stigge, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, said the event was beneficial for people to learn about platforms and different suites of services.
“They want to learn more coding,” she said. “They want to learn how to do even more than what they're doing right now.”
Attendee Orlando Martinez said the skills and practices taught were useful, and he hoped Google would extend their program further to help people without access to laptops.
Deveon Burwell said the event helped him learn new ways to use Google. He added that he hopes to use these skills in a future job.
“It’s a very brand-new experience from here,” Burwell said.