21 Nov Black Belt Community Foundation Joins Google Program to Offer Digital Skills Training for People Impacted by Incarceration
SELMA, AL — November 18,2022: The Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) announced it is working with Google to provide digital skills programs to advance economic opportunity for people impacted by incarceration. In June, Google shared its investment of $4 million toward a new fund that aims to expand its justice reform work. Over 500 nonprofit organizations across the country applied to receive support from the fund, and BBCF is one of the recipients selected by Google based on its history of helping people impacted by incarceration to receive training, career resources, and job placement support.
More than 600,000 Americans leave incarceration each year and face higher jobless rates than the U.S. average. The lack of technology in prison creates further barriers to employment, as digital skills are increasingly essential in the current job market. BBCF will use the new funding to integrate Google’s digital skills curriculum into its existing programming, with the goal of helping people impacted by incarceration learn skills for today’s jobs.
“BBCF has always been devoted to all Black Belt residents having the ability to fully participate in the growth and well being of their communities. When recently incarcerated people return home, it is important that they can readily access resources and opportunities in their restorative journey. What is good for their own well being and that of their communities is one and the same.” said BBCF President, Felecia Lucky.
“As we work to create a more inclusive economy, we’re committed to helping people impacted by incarceration access training for today’s jobs,” said Tia McLaurin, Senior Manager, Grow with Google. “We’re proud to work with outstanding partners to ensure more people can qualify for great jobs and create a new beginning for themselves and their families.”
The selected organizations will use Google digital skills curriculum that was co-curated with five nonprofits— The Last Mile, Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), Defy Ventures, Fortune Society and The Ladies of Hope Ministries.The program’s training includes five learning paths that Google developed in collaboration with nonprofit partners: (1) Getting Started with the Basics, (2) Job Search, (3) Job Readiness, (4) Online Safety, and (5) “Next Step” Job Readiness Skills. Lessons vary from fundamental digital skills such as how to apply for jobs online and create a resumé, to more advanced topics including entrepreneurship and business budgeting. Partners will integrate this curriculum into their existing programs to help people develop skills that will help them get a job or start a business.
Since launching in April 2021, Grow with Google’s program has helped more than 10,000 people impacted by incarceration obtain digital skills. Out of participants surveyed, 85% said that they felt more prepared for their future, and over 75% reported they had a job or were enrolled as a student by the end of the program. To date, Google has given over $48 million in Google.org grants and committed 50,000 pro bono hours to advance criminal justice reform. Learn more about how Google is expanding access to digital skills training to support individuals who were formerly incarcerated at grow.google/justice-impacted.
About Black Belt Community Foundation
|Over the past eighteen years, BBCF has worked tirelessly to help Alabama’s most challenged region realize its potential. BBCF has awarded more than six million dollars in grants to support more than 500 community-led initiatives across BBCF’s 12-county service area in the Black Belt. BBCF was established in 2004 to support local efforts that contribute to the strength, innovation, and success of all the region’s people and communities.
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About Grow with Google
Grow with Google was started in 2017 to help Americans grow their skills, careers and businesses. It provides training, tools and expertise to help small business owners, veterans and military families, jobseekers and students, educators, startups and developers. Since Grow with Google’s inception, it has helped more than nine million Americans develop new skills. Grow with Google has a network of more than 8,500 partner organizations like libraries, schools, small business development centers, chambers of commerce and nonprofits to help people coast-to-coast.