Grow with Google Initiative comes to Pennsylvania

The Departments of Education (PDE) and Labor & Industry (L&I) welcomed Google to the commonwealth as the tech company kicked off a series of one-day events for its Grow with Google initiative.

Last month, Google announced that it had selected Pennsylvania as the first state to visit on its nationwide Grow with Google tour. The events, which were hosted at public libraries in Philadelphia on Jan. 28, York on Jan. 30, and in Erie today, delivered digital skills workshops to library staff and local nonprofit leaders, to job seekers, and to small businesses in the local communities.

“Public libraries have always been cornerstones of their communities and are a natural fit for Google to partner within offering the Grow with Google programs,” Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said. “As more and more jobs require digital literacy and computer skills, Google’s decision to provide training to library staff and community leaders will allow them to continue to train people in their communities in the future.”

The Departments noted that digital skills and computer science (CS) are essential to success in the 21st century, global economy and that demand for a CS-trained workforce is projected to grow over the next decade by 10 percent in Pennsylvania. The commonwealth currently has more than 17,000 unfilled computer science and software development jobs, with an average salary of $87,822.

“We are excited that Google chose Pennsylvania for its first tour and know that the trainings that Google provides will help Pennsylvanians to be competitive in the global workplace,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “We need to make sure Pennsylvanians are receiving high-quality computer science training, so this is a win-win for everyone, as it also helps Pennsylvania’s economy to grow and thrive in the 21st-century global economy.”

The goals of the Google events are aligned with objectives of Governor Wolf’s new and innovative PAsmart initiative, which is investing $30 million in education and workforce development through competitive grants to enhance the skills of Pennsylvania workers.