Goodwill NYNJ & Google Celebrate 1st Year of Tech Training With Hands-on Session

New York, NY (March 20, 2019) – Goodwill® Industries of Greater NY and Northern NJ, Inc. and Google led a tech skills training session for learners at Goodwill’s Brooklyn site at 25 Elm Place, 3rd floor; Brooklyn, NY 11201. The hands-on learning event celebrated that Goodwill NYNJ has exceeded all training and placement benchmarks for the first year and teach attendees, including young adults and other local residents who are unemployed or underemployed, digital best practices to succeed in the 21st century economy. The morning featured remarks from U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-8 NY), NYC Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steven Banks, and the organizations’ officials. 

Goodwill’s Digital Career Accelerator® program is funded by a 3-year Google.org grant as part of the tech company’s Grow with Google initiative to create economic opportunities for all Americans. Through this grant, Goodwill NYNJ and partners provided in the first year information, assessment, or digital training to 10,249 people (377% of the goal set by Google) and placed 1,217 individuals in jobs using the digital skills they gained.

Jobs of all types now require more digital skills, according to a 2017 Brookings Report titled Digitalization and the American Workforce. In addition, more digital skills seem to lead to higher pay. For their analysis, the Brookings researchers examined roughly 15 years' worth of survey data on the knowledge, skills, tools, technology, education, and training required in more than 500 occupations, covering 90 percent of the U.S. workforce.

Goodwill NYNJ works together with partners with expertise in the technology training sector to advance people’s skills and connect them to the power of work. Partners like Pursuit, a social impact company that offers software developer training and career advancement services to adults with high need and potential, and NPower, serving 18-24 year-old young adults,  provided the tools that make adults successful as they transition to middle-skills jobs such as IT help desk support, programming, internet and interactive media, cybersecurity, telecommunications and others. The initiative 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 to a virtual workplace. Goodwill NYNJ provides a wide range of wraparound services to help remove barriers and ensure that job-seekers are fully equipped to pursue a digital career.

"It's programs like Goodwill’s Digital Career Accelerator that helps bridge the opportunity gap and we're thrilled to be working alongside Goodwill NYNJ to continue bringing hands-on training to communities across the Greater NY and Northern NJ region." Carley Graham Garcia, Head of External Affairs for Google NYC

Through the software developer training program and career advancement services offered by Pursuit, and wraparound services from Goodwill NYNJ, individuals like Masai Young secured a job as web designer earning $80,000 annually. Simone Bowen, who had worked as a home health aide for over seven years and wished to change her career path, transitioned to a Customer Service Agent position after participating in Goodwill’s digital accelerator courses.

“The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator reigns as a shining example of the positive outcomes that can exist when businesses, non-profits and elected officials come together to equip those in our community facing barriers to employment with the tools needed to excel in the 21st century economy,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries. “Goodwill NYNJ, Google and all involved are to be commended for their essential efforts in this critical partnership.”

"Our vision of a world with no barriers and opportunities for all means that we have a firm commitment to providing digital skills training and employment services for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Employers are eager for a diverse well trained staff." Katy Gaul-Stigge, Goodwill NYNJ President and CEO

“By partnering with Goodwill NYNJ, we can provide vital resources to our Fellows as they transform their lives, their families, and their communities,” said Jukay Hsu, co-founder and CEO of Pursuit. “Our robust training and support services remove the barriers our Fellows face to achieving successful, family-sustaining careers in tech. Working with Goodwill, which provides wraparound services such as Metro cards, interview clothing vouchers, and financial resources for basic living needs, had an enormous impact on our mission to connect talent with opportunity.”

"It's critical that we prepare New Yorkers for the workforce of the future and that means increasing access to digital skills. As the job sector continues to diversify and rely on a wide range of skills, the strength of our local economy depends on our ability to provide opportunities for everyone to grow and thrive. It's programs like Goodwill’s Digital Career Accelerator that helps bridge the opportunity gap and we're thrilled to be working alongside Goodwill NYNJ to continue bringing hands-on training to communities across the Greater NY and Northern NJ region," said Carley Graham Garcia, Head of External Affairs for Google NYC.

“Currently, all job sectors are more integrated and require workers in who can combine multiple skills, including digital skills,” said Katy Gaul-Stigge, Goodwill NYNJ President and CEO. “Our vision of a world with no barriers and opportunities for all means that we have a firm commitment to providing digital skills training and employment services for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Employers are eager for a diverse well trained staff.”

In addition to providing digital skills training through the Google.org grant, Goodwill NYNJ provides unlimited job coaching and full-time and temporary job placements for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment; and primary care at the Goodwill NYNJ Health and Wellness Center, clubhouses and other supportive programs for people with psychiatric disabilities. Goodwill NYNJ creates jobs. In 2017, the nonprofit organization hired at Goodwill stores or developed job options outside the agency for 4,000 people, including more than 1,300 individuals with disabilities. 

About Pursuit

Pursuit is a social impact company that creates transformation where it’s needed most and enables equality of opportunity and a more prosperous society for all. Through our four-year intensive program, we train adults with the most need and potential to get their first tech jobs, advance in their careers, and become the next generation of leaders in tech. Our graduates are hired by leading companies like Pinterest, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, BlackRock, and JPMorgan Chase, and increase their average annual salaries from $18,000 to over $85,000. In addition to providing training and career support, Pursuit’s innovative operating model combines partnerships with tech companies to retrain their blue-collar workers and social impact investments to re-envision funding for outcomes-based organizations. By connecting talent with opportunity, Pursuit empowers graduates to bring change to their families, tech companies, and communities across the nation.

About Google, Inc.

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.

About Goodwill NYNJ

Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. (Goodwill NYNJ) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates 37 retail stores throughout the region powered by donations of clothing and household items. Goodwill NYNJ translates those donations into workforce development services for people with disabilities and the unemployed, and retail training leading to employment. Annually, Goodwill NYNJ services build better lives for thousands of New York City Metropolitan Area residents and their families. For over 104 years, the agency’s mission has been to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to gain independence through the power of work. Learn more about Goodwill NYNJ at www.goodwillnynj.org; follow us on Twitter @GoodwillNYNJ; and find us on Facebook or Instagram: GoodwillNYNJ.