Google is bringing its economic opportunity initiative, “Grow with Google,” to Kentucky in July with stops in Erlanger and Bowling Green.
“Grow with Google” is hosting free, daylong workshops at libraries in Erlanger (July 17) and Bowling Green (July 19) to help local job seekers, small business owners, educators and entrepreneurs improve their digital skills.
The July 17 session will take place at the Kenton County Public Library’s Erlanger Branch from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The July 19 session will be held at the Warren County Library’s Bob Kirby Branch from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
“Kentucky is a logistical epicenter, with 65 percent of the nation’s population only a day’s drive away,” said Erica Swanson, Google’s head of community engagement. “This has helped Kentucky expand and encourage investment that is unprecedented for Kentucky By bringing the ‘Grow with Google’ tour to the state, we are making a commitment to help develop a skilled workforce that can meet the needs of Kentucky’s growing economy,”
In recognition that libraries have become centers for digital skills learning, “Grow with Google” plans to visit libraries in every state, partnering with them to deliver digital skills trainings directly to community jobseekers and small businesses. According to the American Library Association, nearly three-quarters of public libraries assist their patrons with job applications and interviewing skills, 90 percent help their patrons learn basic digital skills, and just under half provide access and assistance to entrepreneurs looking to start a business of their own.
“Strong digital skills are essential for everyone in today’s innovative economy, especially for jobseekers seeking assistance from the library,” said State Librarian Terry Manuel. “Every day, Kentuckians come through our libraries’ doors for assistance with starting their own businesses, seeking employment, and improving their technical skills.
“By partnering with Google for ‘Grow With Google’ events, we are able to present digital skills workshops that will bring job seekers, small business owners and entrepreneurs together at the public library, and provide a unique opportunity for them to interact and learn.”
Throughout the day, Google’s staff will teach hands-on workshops for a variety of audiences. Local businesses can learn about online marketing and search engine optimization, while individuals can attend a session focused on best use of G Suite tools – Gmail, Google docs, and more.
There will also be training for library staff and nonprofit leaders on a range of “Grow with Google” free tools and curriculum so that they can continue to share resources with their patrons and customers. Attendees are welcome to drop in for a few sessions or stay all day and, outside of the specific workshops, can sign up for one-on-one 20 minute training sessions with Google staff.
Google is partnering with community organizations to spread the word about the events. Following the Grow with Google event, Google will explore ongoing partnership opportunities with area organizations to help with job training and developing digital skills.
Specifically, “Grow with Google” aims to help address the skills gap by preparing Americans for middle-skill jobs, positions that require some skills but not four year degrees. According to the National Middle Skills Initiative, middle skills jobs account for 58 percent of the Kentucky labor force, yet only 48 percent of the state’s workers are trained for such jobs, creating a gap Google would like to help fill.
A recent study by Burning Glass and Capital One found that more than 82 percent of middle-skill jobs require digital skills. Overall, middle-skill jobs average $20 per hour.
In its 2018 Economic Impact Report, Google announced that 9,700 businesses in Kentucky generated $1.06 billion dollars in economic activity by using Google’s search and advertising tools. The full report details Google’s economic impact state-by-state, and features the stories of businesses fueling that growth, creating job opportunities, and transforming their communities.
Kentucky tour dates, cities and locations include:
July 17 in Erlanger
-Kenton County Public Library – Erlanger Branch, 401 Kenton Lands Rd.
-9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
July 19 in Bowling Green
-Warren County Library – Bob Kirby Branch, 175 Iron Skillet Ct.
-9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
-Representative Brett Guthrie will make remarks
To learn more about the free event and to register, visit g.co/GrowKentucky. Space will be limited, so please register in advance.
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