ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Goodwill is kicking off a collaboration with Google.org and Coursera, a leading online education provider, to help people obtain the skills they need to start careers in IT.

Goodwill Industries International, Inc. Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Goodwill Industries International, Inc.) (PRNewsfoto/Goodwill Industries Internationa)

Eighteen local, autonomous Goodwill organizations are now recruiting applicants age 17 and older to earn the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. This credential is designed to take beginning students to job readiness in 8 to 12 months using a Coursera platform, with content created exclusively by Google.

Google.org is providing financial assistance to 10,000 learners over the next year.  The scholarships will be awarded through nonprofit partners, including Goodwill organizations across the country.

«Community-based Goodwill organizations are committed to helping job seekers build the digital skills that are crucial to success in the 21st century workplace through this new IT certificate program,» said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. «The scholarships offer motivated learners an opportunity to advance their careers in well-paying technology jobs.»

This first-of-its-kind IT certificate will give aspiring professionals hands-on IT experience. With Coursera’s online platform, learners can study at their convenience by viewing short, engaging videos interspersed with interactive labs that simulate on-the-job troubleshooting.

When students complete the certificate program, they will have the option to share their information with top companies hiring entry-level computer support specialists. To date, engaged businesses include, Bank of America, Walmart, Sprint, GE Digital, PNC Bank, Infosys, TEKSystems, UPMC and Google.

Just last year, there were 150,000 job postings for IT support roles in the United States. Demand for IT support workers is expected to increase by 10 percent in the United States by 2026, which is faster than the average for all other occupations.

«Finding qualified IT personnel is a challenge many companies face. With 150,000 open roles in IT support, it is one of the fastest growing occupations in the country,» said Ben Fried, vice president and chief information officer at Google. «We developed this curriculum to address this problem head on. We are looking forward to working with Coursera, our nonprofit grantees and participating corporations to create opportunities for thousands of learners.»

«As technology advances change or replace more jobs, we must create more pathways for people to jump into the new, high-paying careers of the future,» said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera. «We are excited to work with Google, nonprofits, and top employers to grow a pipeline of skilled workers and give them the resources they need to succeed as IT professionals.»

To learn more about Goodwill’s scholarship program with Google and the IT Support Professional Certificate training through Coursera, visit www.goodwill.org.

ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 161 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 13 other countries. GII is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is recognized by GuideStar with its Platinum Seal of Approval, the organization’s highest rating for charities. GII was also ranked by Enso as the #1 brand doing the most good in the world for two consecutive years, and was the only nonprofit brand rated in Forbes’ 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years. Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that create job training programs, employment placement and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,300 stores collectively and online at shopgoodwill.com®. Local Goodwill organizations build revenues and create jobs by contracting with commercial, state, government and non-government organizations to provide a wide range of business services, including janitorial, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, packaging, assembly, food preparation, document management, grounds keeping and administrative services.  In 2016, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed more than 313,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 35 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills, and more than 2 million people received in person services. To learn more, visit goodwill.org.

For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at Goodwill.org or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl or Instagram: GoodwillIntl.

ABOUT GOOGLE
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 COURSERA
Coursera is an online education company that partners with 160 of the world’s top universities and industry leaders to offer courses, Specializations, and degrees that empower learners around the world to achieve their career, educational, and personal enrichment goals throughout their lives. Since launching in 2012, the company has grown to 30 million registered learners who can choose among 2,400 courses, 236 Specializations, and four master’s degrees available to enroll in at any time.

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SOURCE Goodwill Industries International