Dissatisfied with her job in retail, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Amie Hanbury enrolled in the Google Career Certificate program on Coursera to learn job-ready skills that could help her start a new career in IT support. The flexible online training allowed Amie to learn while maintaining her full-time job. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, her retail store closed to customers, leaving her with less to do while at work, but more time to study. As she worked through the curriculum, she learned new skills, her confidence grew and soon she was applying for jobs in IT. Today, Amie is a Google Career Certificate graduate and works as a lead field technician; she says she couldn’t be happier with her new career.
Amie’s story is just one example of how Google is helping make progress in expanding opportunity for the military community, and one that inspires me personally. As the proud daughter of a 20-year Army veteran, I’m honored to announce Google.org will provide $20 million in grant funding and in-kind product donations to support economic empowerment for veterans and the military community. This includes a $10 million cash grant to Hiring Our Heroes to launch the Career Forward program. The initiative will provide 8,000 veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses with the skills and career support they need to get great jobs through free access to the Google Career Certificates.
The certificates are portable, industry-recognized credentials that prepare people for in-demand, entry-level jobs and allow certificate graduates to work in high-growth career fields across state and international boundaries — no degree or relevant experience required. The certificates are also flexible, so learners can study on their own time, and they have a track record of advancing economic mobility — 82% of graduates report a positive career impact within six months of completion, such as a raise, promotion or new job.
The cash grant will also enable Hiring Our Heroes to provide job search support, like interview prep and career workshops, to help learners succeed. They’ll assist in placing certificate graduates in 12-week paid job training fellowships at one of more than 400 employers in the Hiring Our Heroes network. After training, graduates can connect with employers like Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Freedom Learning Group, Verizon, Molecula and of course, Google. These companies are just a few of the more than 150 members of our employer consortium committed to hiring and reskilling veterans and military spouses.
Google.org will also donate $10 million in Ad Grants to veteran serving organizations — including Hiring Our Heroes, Code Platoon, Black Veterans Project and Minority Veterans of America — to help them connect with veterans and their families who are searching for their services on Google. To help ensure as many people as possible have access to resources for the military community, we’re also working with partners that serve our military community at the local and national levels. For example, the Department of Labor’s Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses (TEAMS) resource guide now includes information about the Google Career Certificates and links to our updated Military Spouse Career Roadmap, developed in partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, which provides helpful tools for military spouses as they forge ahead on new career paths.
To support transitioning service members as they make their moves to civilian life, our own Google Veterans Network (VetNet) — a community of veteran, military spouse and civilian ally Google employees — will volunteer with Hiring Our Heroes over the next year to host free workshops for thousands of service members. During these workshops, VetNet Googlers plan to provide career advice, resume support and job search training.
Today’s news builds on our longstanding commitment to increase economic opportunity in the military community. We’ve created Search capabilities to make it easier for veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses to find relevant job opportunities on Google. We also became an official partner of the Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership, and announced five days of paid leave for military spouses every time their service member receives orders.
Our hope is that increased access to portable career credentials and employment opportunities can ease some of the challenges our military community faces in reaching economic mobility. Visit our online hub to learn more about our free tools and resources for the military community.