A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

‘Grow with Google’ workshops at Kenton Erlanger library draws crowd, focusing on digital literacy

Visiting Google presenters and coaches hosted free “Grow with Google” workshops at the Erlanger Branch of the Kenton County Public Library Wednesday, with onsite instruction provided 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, is touring the state this week hosting digital skills events. 

“Google plays such an important role in our day to day lives as a community and around the world,” said Mayor Jessica Fette. “We are excited for the opportunity to focus on training for local small business owners and job seekers. Supporting business development and growth is critical to enhancing the economic status and quality of life of our employers and employees around the city. We are all stronger when we support each other’s success.” 

Google worked with Northern Kentucky 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, tools for jobseekers, and 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.

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. Beginning on July 22, libraries in Kentucky will be able to apply for funds to kickstart or grow their own digital skills programming. Last year, Grow with Google committed $1 million in micro-grants to libraries across the country through their partnership with the American Library Association. 

“Kenton County Public Library’s focus on digital literacy, partnerships and workforce development make it a perfect match for Grow with Google. We experienced an exciting day filled with energy and information. The sessions for non-profits, job seekers and small businesses were filled beyond capacity and the on-to-one sessions proved extremely beneficial to residents from the entire Greater Cincinnati area,” said Dave Schroeder, Director of the Kenton County Public Library. 

“This partnership with Google will allow us to develop even more high-quality programs and services to meet the needs of our patrons and the broader community.”

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 for 58% of Kentucky’s labor force. A recent study by Burning Glass and Capital One found that more than 8 in 10 middle-skill jobs (82%) require digital skills and that overall, middle-skill jobs average $20 per hour.

“Kentucky is a logistical epicenter, with 65% of the nation’s population only a days-drive away. This has helped Kentucky expand and encourage investment that is unprecedented for the state. By bringing the ‘Grow with Google’ tour, we are making a commitment to help develop a skilled workforce that can meet the needs of Kentucky’s growing economy,” said Erica Swanson, Google’s Head of Community Engagement.

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. 

Earlier this year Google announced that 9,700 Kentucky businesses, publishers and nonprofits used Google search and advertising tools to connect with the people and communities they serve — generating 1.06 billion in economic activity. By using Google products businesses increased their online presence and were able to grow, bringing more money and jobs into the local economy. 

Grow with Google

Related Posts

Leave a Comment