Google partners with local libraries to create skilled work force

WEIRTON — Google will be bringing its Grow with Google economic development initiative to the community during an event set for July 31 at the Mary H. Weir Public Library.

Google will host a free, day-long workshop with a goal of helping local job seekers, small business owners, educators and entrepreneurs improve their digital skills.

The Weirton event will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“Last month the U.S. Commerce Department announced that West Virginia is leading the way in personal income growth this year. By bringing the Grow with Google tour to the state, we are making a commitment to help continue that progress and develop a skilled work force that can meet the needs of West Virginia’s growing economy,” said Erica Swanson, Google’s head of community engagement.

Throughout the day Google staff will teach hands-on workshops for a variety of audiences. Local businesses can learn about online marketing and search engine optimization, while individuals can attend a session focused on best use of G Suite tools — Gmail, Google Docs, and more. There will also be training for library staff and non-profit leaders on a range of Grow with Google free tools and curriculum so that they can continue to share resources with their patrons and customers. Attendees are welcome to drop in for a few sessions or stay all day and, outside of the specific workshops, can sign up for one-on-one 20 minute training sessions with Google staff.

“We are thrilled to host Grow with Google to highlight the role we both play in addressing the digital skills gap with technology access, training, and support for our West Virginia communities” said Karen Goff, executive secretary of the West Virginia Library Commission. “These free workshops will give job seekers, small business owners, educators, entrepreneurs and students a unique chance to improve their digital and technical skills.”

Following the Grow with Google event, Google will explore ongoing partnership opportunities with area organizations to help with job training and developing digital skills.

“The Mary H. Weir Public Library serves a dynamic Weirton community of library users representing generations of families, workers and businesses in Weirton, West Virginia and the Ohio Valley,” said Rik Rekowski, director of the library. “Today our community is in need of current digital skills useful to work online to create, to build and to participate in its new economy. By partnering with Google, Grow With Google workshops will help our library users and community learn and obtain digital skills necessary to help participate in our new business and economic community. As our steel industry helped build many American communities, Grow With Google digital workshop skills will help enable today’s job seekers, entrepreneurs, and our businesses to rebuild our community and compete again nationally and globally.”

A second West Virginia event has been set for Aug. 2 in Huntington.

For information about the free event and to register, visit g.co/GrowWestVirginia. Space will be limited.


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