CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Two years ago, tech giant Google joined forces with Goodwill to launch the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator. The project aims to “jump-start” career opportunities for 1.2 million people by 2021.
Less than 50 percent of employees in the Texas workforce know how to use a computer, cell phone, or tablet, and Goodwill is teaming up with Google to change that.
“We offer a free digital skills class, and that helps with basic computer skills. It also helps with software skills, resume, and interviewing skills,” said Goodwill employee consultant Keith Sanders.
Just within the last two years, technology has changed as far as the work place. Many businesses like Goodwill have gone from paper applications to online applications.
“And what we did see was a lot of our participants were not able to fill out applications properly online," Goodwill employee consultant Keith Sanders. "So we developed a curriculum, and now we are able to help people with digital skills.”
The Goodwill digital skills class is set up to help job seekers learn the skills they need to find work and enhance their earnings potential.
“People are scared to go online; people are scared to do this," Sanders said. "We want to make sure we equip them with the tools so that when they do go on, they are successful, and they can apply for jobs in our computer lab as well as on their smartphone because again, everything is going to the digital age."
Goodwill Industries of South Texas wants to let the community know Goodwill is more than just a thrift store.
“The ultimate goal is to put people back to work. We want to make sure, as we said before, that we want to change lives through the power of work," Sanders said. "So we want to make sure that we put people, not just in any kind of field, but in a good field for employment.”
Classes are held Monday-Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.for anyone who is underemployed or unemployed.
“We want to make sure they are able to go into the workplace without any barriers," Sanders said. "So we can help them with filling out applications correctly online, setting up emails, making sure they know how to navigate just basic computer skills.”
Google has given a $10 million grant to Goodwill organizations across the country. Locally, Goodwill Industries of South Texas has received $8,000 of that grant.
Currently Goodwill is seeking funders to help underwrite this important program.
Funds from the revenue generated through the sale of donations at local Goodwill stores will also help support the program.