In honor of Second Chance Month, Google has launched the "Grow with Google Career Readiness for Reentry" program. Through this program, the tech giant hopes to expand upon its already existing social justice initiatives.
Fueled by $40 million in grants from Google, the program will be led by the Center for Employment Opportunities, Defy Ventures, Fortune Society, Ladies of Hope Ministries and The Last Mile. These nonprofits will join together to teach participants "how to search and apply for jobs online, how to make a resume using web-based tools and how to send professional emails."
Google's latest initiative is incredibly important for a population of formerly incarcerated people that are routinely marginalized. The Prison Policy Initiative reports that more than 60,000 people transition from the criminal justice system to everyday life each year. While many of those people hope to find jobs and reintegrate into society, they face incredible obstacles. In fact, 82% of "middle-skill" jobs in America require digital proficiency, which many formerly incarcerated people lack due to limited access to technology. As a result, the unemployment rate for people impacted by incarceration ends up being five times the national average.
"We can’t change the past, but we can build toward a better tomorrow. The ability to secure a job or start a business can pave the way for a brighter future, and I’m thrilled to work with Google to give others like me the opportunity for a fresh start," Ladies of Hope Ministries Founder Topeka K. Sam said about the program.
The program is also working to help other nonprofits outside of the five previously mentioned. Any nonprofit working to reintegrate formerly incarcerated people into the workforce can join the "Grow with Google" partner program and access resources free of charge.
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