WASHINGTON (AP) — Google pledged Thursday to help train a quarter of a million people for technology jobs, adding its name to a White House initiative designed to get private companies to expand training opportunities for Americans.
CEO Sundar Pichai announced the commitment during an appearance with White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump at El Centro community college in Dallas.
Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter, oversees the administration’s worker training efforts.
Google is also expanding a program it developed to prepare people for entry-level jobs in information technology support in less than six months _ no college degree or prior experience required, Pichai said.
More than 85,000 students have enrolled in the course since its launch in January 2018.
Expanding the course and creating another pathway to the fast-growing, high-paying field of IT support is part of the tech giant’s decision to join more than 350 U.S. companies and add its name to the Trump administration’s “ Pledge to America’s Workers .”
“Through this pledge, as Ivanka mentioned, we are committed to creating 250,000 new training opportunities for American workers over the next five years,” Pichai said at a roundtable discussion with school administrators and students who have completed the IT support program.
“I cannot tell you how excited we are about this,” added Ivanka Trump. “IT is such a critical industry to this nation.”
Last July, President Trump created the National Council for the American Worker and the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board _ the latter made up of business, education and other leaders who have been asked to make recommendations to the council on a national workforce strategy.
The president also called on U.S. businesses to commit to expanding education and skills-training programs by signing the pledge.
To date, more than 350 companies have committed to train and retrain more than 14 million students and workers since Trump introduced the pledge in July 2018.
The overall goal is to increase the number of skilled workers at a time when many businesses are struggling to find qualified help.
More than 7 million job openings exist in the U.S., according to a September report from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Google initially signed the pledge through the Internet Association, which lobbies on behalf of the industry. But the tech giant said it decided to strengthen its commitment after developing more programs, including its IT Support Professional Certificate.
Google is expanding the online course to 100 community colleges _ more than triple the current number _ in 16 states by the end of 2020 through a $3.5 million grant to JFF, a nonprofit organization focused on jobs and education.
The course was released in January 2018 to 30 community colleges in California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Colorado and Wisconsin. Expansion will place the program in schools in Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Virginia and West Virginia.
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