Local nonprofit help disburse $100M tech training scholarships | Local News


When Vanessa Hunter heard about the opportunity to take Google‘s Career Certificate program, she quickly signed up to join.

Hunter, who is the CEO of the Black Contractor Coalition, is taking courses in project management. She found out about the Google program through PWNC Foundation Inc., a local nonprofit that serves approximately 1,500 small female-owned businesses. Hunter will complete the program next month.

“I work with contractors and the biggest part of their jobs is the scope of the work,” she said. “The project manager is the person that handles the scope of work to make sure the projects are completed in a timely manner.”

“My contractors are engaged in project management , whether they want to or not,” Hunter said. “Now that I’m participating in the Google program and taking courses in project management, my expertise lends a valuable hand to executing not only the organization, but individual projects that we have within the organization.

“It’s phenomenal because I’m doing marketing, research and grant writing. Everything I do is project management now and it’s great to create portfolios and follow the step to step processes,” she added.

The PWNC () Foundation Inc. is collaborating with Grow with Google on the $100 million certificate program, which is geared toward veterans looking to get into the technology and people in underserved and low-income communities.

The program was launched in 2017 by Google CEO Sundar Pichai to help people access training to grow their skills, careers and businesses.

“They originally started out with 100 scholarships, but they have since increased the scholarships to 500, said Felicia Shanken, founder and president of the PWNC Foundation Inc.

“It’s really awesome because that means people are taking advantage of the program and more people in our community are getting into the technology spectrum,” she added. “We’re approved for the scholarships through 2023 of next year.”

In an email sent to the PWNC Foundation Inc. the Grow With Google Partner team said “We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to work together to make a real impact on the job seekers and students in the community.”

The program will prepare people for high paying jobs in fields like digital marketing and e-commerce, UX design, data analytics, IT support and project management within three to six months with no degree or experience required. The certificates will require under 10 hours of study per week and participants will use the online education program Coursera.

The program also features skills training for high-growth careers and wraparound support that can include employment-related services, such as living stipends, child care support, interview preparation and job placement assistance.

More than 70,000 workers have graduated from the certificate programs since its inception. Nearly 75% of graduates report seeing a positive impact on their career within six months after completing the program, including a raise or new job, according to the Grow with Google website.

“There is no cost to anyone who is interested in the program and participants must be over the age of 18 to apply,” Shanken said. “Anyone that contacts me about the program will receive a questionnaire so that we can get a better idea of who they are, what their expectations are of the program and what they’re interested in.

“We want to make sure people are serious about being a part of the program, so they do not take the opportunity away from someone who could benefit from it,” she said. “Once we get the application back, it’s reviewed.

“They (Grow with Google) will get back to them within 24 hours to let them know if they have been accepted into the program. Once that happens a link is sent to them and they can set up the platform and start doing their courses right away,” she added.

Hunter said once she completes the project management certificate, she has plans to get another Google certificate.

“My next Google certificate will be in data analysis,” Hunter said. “The analysis process helps you fine tune what you’re doing whether you’re working on a project, budget or working to get a project done on time.

“There’s data and metrics in place,” she added. “I look forward to learning more about those metrics. As long as I’m allowed in the Google program, I’m going to get every certificate they have to offer.”

For more information and to apply to the Grow With Google program, send an email to [email protected].

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