Editor’s note: Today Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a new $100 million Google Career Certificates Fund at an event with U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Castillo and the CEOs of Social Finance, Merit America and Year Up. Below is an edited transcript of his remarks. Watch the event above.
One of the best parts of my job is visiting the communities where Google operates. These visits remind me that America is full of people who want to work hard and contribute to their communities.
That sense of purpose and optimism is what brought me to America nearly 30 years ago. And it’s what drew me to Google and its mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
We are a company of technology optimists. We believe in what people can do with technology to improve their lives and the lives of others.
That’s what inspired us to launch Grow with Google in 2017, to help all Americans access training to grow their skills, careers and businesses. What we’ve learned over the last five years is what can be accomplished when private-sector companies like ours come together with public-sector institutions and nonprofit partners. Our digital skills program is one example. Together we’ve helped train eight million Americans in all 50 states.
Another example is our Google Career Certificates. Seventy thousand Americans have now completed these certificates. They prepare people for high-paying, high-growth jobs in fields like data analytics, IT support, project management and user experience design. They are available to anyone, no college degree required. Seventy-five percent of graduates report seeing a positive impact on their career within six months, including a raise or a new job.
That includes Natalie Burns, who I met in 2019, and who is here with us today. Natalie earned her Google IT Support certificate while attending community college in Texas. She got a job in cybersecurity and — I’m told — a significant pay increase. Congrats, Natalie!
We want to help more people access these Certificates, especially in underserved communities.
That’s why I’m excited to announce a new $100 million Google Career Certificates Fund. The goal is to enable Social Finance to reach more than 20,000 American workers. This investment in America’s future has the potential to drive $1 billion in wage gains.
This fund is a new kind of financing model. We’ll invest Google capital and Google.org grants and provide our Career Certificate program. Social Finance will provide funding to nonprofit partners like Merit America and Year Up, who in turn will provide services like career coaching, living stipends and job placement support. And we’ll connect students to an employer consortium of more than 150 companies who are looking to hire workers with these skills.
It’s all designed around student success. They will receive all of this at no upfront cost. And will only pay it back once they find a job earning at least $40,000 a year. Social Finance will then redistribute those repayments to future learners, making this model more sustainable.
It’s another promising example of how the entire ecosystem — from private companies to nonprofits — can work together to help more Americans access economic opportunities.
I’m excited to see all the ways this could be transformative for people, their families and their communities. Thank you to our partners again for their efforts and support.