The city of Clinton was one of only two Mississippi cities selected by Google to showcase the company’s “Grow with Google” program.
On Monday, August 26, Google will be at the Clinton Quisenberry Library to showcase the tech company’s initiative to help create economic opportunity. Hattiesburg was the second city chosen to host.
To kick-start this work locally, Google is hosting free, daylong workshops at libraries in Clinton and Hattiesburg to help local job seekers, small business owners, educators and entrepreneurs improve their digital skills.
“Mississippi is in a prime position for technological growth,” said Erica Swanson, Google’s head of community engagement. “By bringing the ‘Grow with Google’ tour to the state, we are ready to show our commitment to that expansion in Mississippi so their workforce can meet the needs of tomorrow.”
The Clinton tour date will be Monday, August 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Quisenberry Library, located at 605 East Northside Drive.
In recognition that libraries have become centers for digital skills learning, “Grow with Google” plans to visit libraries in every state, partnering with them to deliver digital skills trainings directly to community job seekers and small businesses. According to the American Library Association, nearly three-quarters of public libraries assist their patrons with job applications and interviewing skills, ninety percent help their patrons learn basic digital skills, and just under half provide access and assistance to entrepreneurs looking to start a business of their own.
“We’re excited to have the Grow with Google team visit this month and provide Mississippians with digital workshops to improve their digital skills for business, education, and job seeking. This partnership with Google is a natural fit for Mississippi’s libraries,” said Tracy Carr, library services director of the Mississippi Library Commission.
Throughout the day, Google staff will teach hands-on workshops for a variety of audiences. Local businesses can learn about online marketing and search engine optimization, while individuals can attend a session focused on best use of G Suite tools – Gmail, Google Docs, and more. There will also be training for library staff and nonprofit leaders on a range of “Grow with Google” free tools and curriculum so that they can continue to share resources with their patrons and customers. Attendees are welcome to drop in for a few sessions or stay all day and, outside of the specific workshops, can sign up for one-on-one, twenty-minute training sessions with Google staff.
Google is partnering with community organizations to spread the word about the events. Following the Grow with Google event, Google will explore ongoing partnership opportunities with area organizations to help with job training and developing digital skills.
“One of the core missions of the Jackson Hinds Library System has been to increase access to the digital work for our customers who desire to take advantage of this help. We are so excited that ‘Grow with Google’ will be offering hands-on training that will enable job seekers, entrepreneurs and business owners to take their skills to the next level and position themselves for success. We urge everyone to take advantage of this unique opportunity,” said Patty Furr, executive director of the Jackson Hinds Library System.
Specifically, “Grow with Google” aims to help address the skills gap by repairing Americans for middle-skill jobs, positions that require some skills but not four-year degrees. According to the National Middle Skills Initiative, only fifty percent of the state’s workers are trained to the middle-skill level, creating a gap Google would like to help fill. A recent study by Burning Glass and Capital One found that more than eight in ten middle-skill jobs require digital skills. Overall, middle-skill jobs average twenty dollars per hour.
In their 2018 Economic Impact Report, Google announced that 3,100 business in Mississippi generated $1.68 million dollars 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 learn more about the free event and to register, visit g.co/GrowMississippi. Space will be limited; advanced registration is encouraged.