Goodwill® NYNJ Surpasses Digital Career Accelerator® Grant Goals with Google

Goodwill NYNJ Provided Digital Skills Training to 6,773 Individuals in First Six Months

Six months after launching Goodwill’s Digital Career Accelerator® program with founding partner Google, Goodwill®Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. has blown past all training and placement benchmarks. The program is part of a three-year$300,000 grant to provide technical training and employment services for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Through this grant, Goodwill NYNJ provided information, assessment and digital training to 6,773 people (225% of the six-month goal set by Google) and placed 803 individuals in jobs using the digital skills they gained.

Digital skills are becoming increasingly important to our personal and professional lives. According to a 2017 report, The Digital Edge, by Burning Glass Technologies and Capital One, nearly 80% of middle-skills jobs require some basic digital skills, but without accessible training programs, technology or even reliable internet access, job-seekers will miss out on these well-paying jobs. Goodwill NYNJ provides five levels of digital skills training depending on each participant’s needs: everything from using keyboards to using Microsoft Suite products and Google Docs products to enable individuals to fully integrate into a virtual workplace.

Goodwill NYNJ is working together with partners with expertise in the technology training sector to advance people’s skills to connect them to the power of work. Coalition for Queens, Per Scholas, NPower, York College, and the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline provide the tools and wrap-around services that make adults successful as they transition to middle-skills jobs. Training with these partners prepares workers for jobs in IT help desk support, programming, internet and interactive media, cybersecurity, telecommunications and other technology-infused areas.

Watch a video of some of the individuals who received basic digital literacy training this semester.

Jukay Hsu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Coalition for Queens (C4Q), says, “By working with Goodwill NYNJ, we are able to provide invaluable resources for our C4Q community in their pursuit to transform their lives through technology. The range of wraparound services—from providing Metro-cards to interview clothing vouchers to financial resources for food and basic living needs—helps remove barriers and ensures that our students are fully equipped to become the tech leaders of tomorrow.”

 “We’re thrilled Goodwill NYNJ has exceeded its six-month goals and trained thousands in digital skills,” says Carley Graham Garcia, Google Inc.’s Head of External Affairs for New York. “Moving forward, we are excited to continue working with Goodwill NYNJ so more beneficiaries can have the digital skills trainings we provided so far.”

Katy Gaul-Stigge, President and CEO of Goodwill NYNJ says: “We are delighted to partner with Google, C4Q and others to provide job-seekers the training and employment tools they need to succeed in the 21st century economy. Being tech-literate is crucial for any person to succeed in the world today. Goodwill NYNJ is a leading workforce development social enterprise with 103 years of experience helping individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to reach their highest potential.”

In 2017, Goodwill NYNJ served over 45,000 individuals with developmental and physical disabilities, persons with mental health challenges, and public assistance applicants and recipients. During the same period, the nonprofit placed over 3,400 individuals in jobs, including 1,397 people with disabilities.

In addition to providing digital skills training through the grant, Goodwill NYNJ human services programs include an integrated health and wellness center to provide primary health care for adults with behavioral health issues, unlimited job coaching and  full-time and temporary job placements for individuals with disabilities; and clubhouses and other supportive programs for people with psychiatric disabilities.

Note: As originally posted on Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. Read the full article here.