Google announced a new partnership with four New York City CUNY schools intended to serve Latino students and help them navigate digital literacy to enter the workforce.
The Grow with Google HSI (Hispanics Serving Institutions) Career Readiness program will see $2 million allocated through the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) to educate over 200,000 Latino nationwide by 2025. Grow with Google will partner with Bronx Community College, Guttman Community College, Hostos Community College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College, all of which have historically have served students of color, in particular Latino students. The goal of the partnership is to bridge the technological gap that Latino students encounter when trying to enter the workforce.
“Through this partnership, students will have even more access to critical digital and job-readiness training that will help ensure they have access to good-paying jobs,” said Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “I’m thrilled to see the Google Career Readiness program implemented in our community and look forward to its positive impact on our students and their futures.”
Latino workers face systemic barriers when it comes to economic success, largely because of a lack of digital literacy needed to succeed in higher-paying jobs. Over 80% of U.S. jobs require digital skills, but 55% of Latinos have little to no digital skills training making it harder for them to gain higher-paying opportunities. With more and more job opportunities requiring workers to have a higher level of online or digital understanding, a large portion of the working population is being excluded from the conversation.
“Ensuring Hispanic-Serving Institutions have the resources available to help students excel in the workforce is crucial in today’s competitive job market,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “We are excited to partner with Google on this innovative initiative and collaborate with HSIs to offer career services for students to graduate with the digital skills and training that can expand their employment prospects.”
With the HACU partnership, the Grow with Google HSI Career Readiness program intends to fund HSI career centers and provide a semester-long in-person and online digital skills training program. The initiative will combine career workshops, career counseling, and instruction on design thinking, project management and professional brand building. Participating schools will also receive guidance to create additional material tailored to student needs.
“Grow with Google is a roadmap to career success,” said Niesha Ziehmke, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Guttman Community College in an interview with amNew York. “It helps students get really ready to walk into either an internship or a job. The idea is that we build strong places throughout the curriculum so students get [digital and career skills] tools refined to go into the workplace.”
As the partnership went live Monday, Google also expressed excitement about the future with HSI’s and CUNY institutions.
“Google is proud to work with leading Latino-serving organizations to advance access to digital skills and workforce training in the Latino community,” said Ana Corrales, Chief Operating Officer for Google’s Devices and Services. “Together with organizations like the Hispanic Association of Community Colleges and Universities, we aim to help bridge wealth and opportunity gaps in the Latino community, so that everyone has an opportunity to succeed in today’s digital economy.”