Story at a glance

  • Google is partnering with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to help Black students enhance their digital skills.
  • This follows documentation that Black students enter the job market with less digital skills compared to students of other races.

A new program has been established between students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Google to help Black jobseekers enter the workforce with advanced digital skills.

Announced on the company's Keyword blog, the program is part of Grow with Google, an education initiative launched in 2017. It will work with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to close existing skills gaps between Black students and other students when it comes to having the right technologically savvy skills needed to obtain careers with high-growth potential.


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“While the student bodies of HCBUs are incredibly diverse, HBCUs disproportionately serve low-income and first-generation students who may be less academically ready than their peers,” Harry L. Williams, the president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, wrote in the press release. 

“The Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program aims to help these students by providing funding, digital skills workshops and custom jobseeker content to HBCU career centers to help students and alumni gain the tools and training needed to secure a job and excel in the workplace.”

Some of the first schools to engage with the program include Bowie State University, Virginia State University, Winston-Salem University and Southern University A&M College by January 2021. It will be available to all HBCUs by fall 2021.

The funding total amounts to $15 million, which will initially be deployed as a $1 million investment. It is a part of the company’s larger commitment to racial equality, Forbes reports

Previously, in 2013, Grow with Google worked with HBCUs and Hispanic Serving Institutions to offer introductory computer programming courses in schools. 

“We're seeing this digital transformation and acceleration occur, and so we’re making sure that the career centers within these educational institutions have the ability to immediately provide access to skills training,” Bonita Stewart, vice president of global partnerships at Google and a graduate of the Washington, D.C., based HBCU Howard University, told reporters.


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Published on Oct 19, 2020