In this encore episode of the Work in Progress podcast, first aired in April, my guest is Lisa Gevelber, the founder and vice president of Grow with Google, Google’s training initiative which is helping people gain tech skills for in-demand jobs in today’s economy.

Gevelber says there are millions of American workers without a college degree who feel like good jobs are out of reach for them, and Google wants to break down that barrier by training workers for skills that employers are looking for right now.

“The objective is really to make sure that the opportunities that are created by technology are truly available to everyone. It’s an economic opportunity program that really has two pillars, which is how do we help small businesses succeed, and then how do we help people reach their full economic potential regardless of their background, education, and make sure that they really have opportunities to get great, high-paying, high-growth jobs.

Gevelber explains that the career certificate program grew out of the company’s efforts to solve an internal problem—finding enough talent trained to do IT support.

“We built a specific training program so that we could successfully bring in non-traditional (non-degreed) talent and build out our own workforce. Then we realized that we had something really special and that we could share this with everyone. So, we created our very first Google Career Certificate in IT support and made it available to anyone—put it up on Coursera—in January of 2018. And it’s a super robust training program, it’s still the training program that we use at Google to train our own IT support professionals.”

More than 50,000 people have gone through the program, gotten the Google IT certificate, and are working in the IT field. “The good thing is so many of our students do not have a college degree and are just thriving in these jobs.”

Google recently added new certificates in three other high-demand fields—data analytics, project management, and user experience design, which is the creative field of how we all interact with websites or apps on our phones.

There are 1.3 million open jobs in the four Google Career Certificate fields. Says Gevelber, “Employers are out there looking for great talent and, ideally, also diversifying their workforces. After the training, Google works with more than 130 companies to place its graduates in jobs with entry-level salaries of at least $69,000 a year.”

Coursera charges a small fee for the training, which is taught online by Google professionals. “Each of our certificates can be done for $39 a month. Most people finish in three to six months, so the total cost for most people would be $120 to $240.

Gevelber says the Google Career Certificate training program is a “win for everyone. It helps job seekers get the skills they need for these in-demand, high-paying jobs, but it also really helps the employers fill their talent pipeline with non-traditional talent.”

You can listen to the full podcast here, or download and listen from wherever you get your podcasts.

Download the transcript for this podcast here.

Episode 191: Lisa Gevelber, founder & VP, Grow with Google
Host and Executive Producer: Ramona Schindelheim, editor-in-chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch, Melissa Panzer
Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0.

You can check out all the other podcasts at this link: Work in Progress podcasts