Google wants to help grow tech skills for small business owners, jobseekers

DOVER — Visiting Google presenters gave several members of the community some insight into getting the most out of their computers and a peek into technology as they hosted free hosted free “Grow with Google” workshops Thursday at the Dover Public Library.

Google provided onsite instruction to local jobseekers and small business leaders on integral digital skills needed in today’s business environment. Grow with Google, the tech company’s initiative to help create economic opportunities for Americans, has been touring the state this week hosting digital skills events.

Thursday was Dover’s turn.

“It gives me great honor to welcome Google to Dover,” Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said. “Thank you for considering the Dover Public Library and our citizens for this meaningful program.”

Google worked with Dover organizations to attract workshop attendees and promote the role of small businesses in the city’s current and future economic success. Workshops focused on digital skills, coding, online safety, data analytics and improving online business presence. One-on-one coaching sessions also took place with personal instruction on Google Spreadsheets and other GSuite tools.

Margery Cyr, director of the Dover Public Library, said Google took the “next step” toward being better able to use the library’s available resources.

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen addresses the meeting.

“The Dover Public Library is thrilled to be a Grow with Google partner,” she said. “Our mission is ‘to connect people to a variety of resources and services that inform, educate and entertain.’

“Now, more than ever in today’s changing workplace, digital skills are critical to the employability of our citizens. The Dover Library’s journey to helping people on the path to finding employment began in 2009; the Division of Libraries expanded the program statewide in 2010; and Grow with Google is a natural next step in the evolution of Dover Public Library’s services.”

Grow with Google has been on a national tour in partnership with America’s libraries, hosting digital skills workshops in libraries in all 50 states with plans to support digital skills offerings on an ongoing basis; training library staff and nonprofit leaders on a range of Grow with Google’s free tools and curriculum patrons use daily.

The tour aims to help address the skills gap by preparing Americans for middle-skill jobs; positions that require some skills but not four-year degrees and which, according to the National Middle Skills Initiative, account to 51 percent of Delaware’s labor force. A recent study by Burning Glass and Capital One found that more than 8 in 10 middle-skill jobs (82 percent) require digital skills and that overall, middle-skill jobs average $20 per hour.

In its’ 2017 Economic Impact Report, Google announced that 6,300 businesses in Delaware generated $1.68 billion 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.

To support this effort, Google created the Grow with Google Partner Program to empower nonprofits, libraries, government agencies, educational institutions and other organizations with a range of digital skills resources. Organizations apply to the program and once accepted can use it as a hub for training content, tools and promotional materials. Partners can leverage customized toolkits for getting started, hosting trainings as well as sharing Grow with Google programs and resources with their community.

Delaware libraries offer more than books; they are innovation and learning centers for our local communities in a global world,” Sen. Tom Carper said.

“It makes perfect sense that our libraries are partnering with Google this April to offer free workshops for Delawareans interested in learning the digital skills that are so crucial in today’s workforce and for the jobs of tomorrow.”

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