Texas Organizations Join Google Program To Offer Digital Skills Training For People Impacted By Incarceration

In June, Google announced an initiative to help people impacted by incarceration gain digital
skills through strategic partnerships and programming

Brookshire Texas  Today, seven organizations in Texas announced they are working with Google to
provide digital skills programs to advance economic opportunity for people impacted by
incarceration. The organizations are Texas Incarcerated Families AssociationTexas Offenders Reentry Initiative (T.O.R.I.) Prairie View A&M University CooperativeExtension Program1st MillionITEXPERIENCE INC., Digital Workforce Academy, INC, and Jarvis Christian University.
In June, Google shared its investing $4 million toward a new fund that aims to expand its justice
reform work. Over 500 nonprofit organizations across the country applied to receive support
from the fund, and the seven organizations in Texas were selected by Google based on its
history of helping people who have been impacted by incarceration receive training, career
resources, and job placement support.

“All members of the workforce should have access to the skills training and training and
resources that will move our economy forward,” said Rep. Nicole Collier. “That’s why I’m
pleased to see so many Texas-based nonprofits selected for the Grow with Google Fund for
Justice Impacted Communities, which will help provide the resources to train and upskill
previously incarcerated individuals as they prepare to reenter the workforce and help grow our
economy.”

More than 600,000 Americans leave incarceration each year and face higher jobless rates than
the U.S. average. The lack of technology in prison creates further barriers to employment, as
digital skills are increasingly essential in the current job market. The seven Texas organizations
will use the new funding to integrate Google’s digital skills curriculum into existing programming,
with the goal of helping people impacted by incarceration learn skills for today’s jobs.

“As we work to create a more inclusive economy, we’re committed to helping people impacted
by incarceration access training for today’s jobs,” said Tia McLaurin, Senior Manager, Grow
with Google
. “We’re proud to work with outstanding partners to ensure more people can qualify
for great jobs and create a new beginning for themselves and their families.”

The selected organizations will use Google digital skills curriculum that was co-curated with five
nonprofits— The Last MileCenter for Employment Opportunities (CEO)Defy Ventures,
Fortune Society and The Ladies of Hope Ministries. The program’s training includes five learning paths that Google developed in collaboration with nonprofit partners: (1) Getting Started with the Basics, (2) Job Search, (3) Job Readiness, (4) Online Safety, and (5) “Next Step” Job Readiness Skills. Lessons vary from fundamental digital skills such as how to apply for jobs online and create a resumé, to more advanced topics including entrepreneurship and business
budgeting. Partners will integrate this curriculum into their existing programs to help people
develop skills that will help them get a job or start a business.

Since launching in April 2021, Grow with Google’s program has helped more than 90,000
people impacted by incarceration obtain digital skills. To date, Google has given over $48 million
in Google.org grants and committed 50,000 pro bono hours to advance criminal justice reform.
Learn more about how Google is expanding access to digital skills training to support individuals
who have been impacted by incarceration: grow.google/justice-impacted.

Supporting quotes

“Partnering with Google to bridge the digital divide by supporting those who are justice impacted
through leading industry training and career development services – allows for individuals to
build towards a meaningful future, despite the challenges they’ve faced,” said Melvin White,
Executive Director, Digital Workforce Academy.

“Navigating the Covid-19 pandemic for two years required us to pivot and adjust our program to
a virtual platform to meet the critical needs of those coming home from prison” said Tina
Naidoo, LCSW and Executive Director of T.O.R.I.
 “We quickly realized the digital divide
created an unnecessary barrier of access to services that were so desperately needed. This
partnership will expand our ability to reach thousands more, create access to the world online
and meet the extensive need for digital literacy to successfully navigate reentry in the free
world.”

“Texas Incarcerated Families Association (TIFA) is honored and grateful to receive this Google
fund,” said Sharon McKinney, TIFA Executive Director. “These funds will be used to bring
Google digital skills training into Texas prison units to provide incarcerated Texans with much
needed computer skills training and instruction on job readiness and online safety. This training
will also be offered to system-impacted families and formerly incarcerated Texans, furthering
TIFA’s mission of strengthening families through support, education, and advocacy.”

“ITExperience is excited about the opportunity to give back to the society by joining the Grow
with Google program to help bring digital skills training to Justice impacted communities,” said
Silver Ehiwario, CEO/Founder
. “Thank you Google for this great initiative.”

About Grow with Google
Grow with Google was started in 2017 to help Americans grow their skills, careers and
businesses. It provides training, tools and expertise to help small business owners, veterans
and military families, jobseekers and students, educators, startups and developers. Since Grow
with Google’s inception, it has helped more than nine million Americans develop new skills.
Grow with Google has a network of more than 8,500 partner organizations like libraries,
schools, small business development centers, chambers of commerce and nonprofits to help
people coast-to-coast.