Announcing Indigenous Career Readiness Program That Helps You Grow with Google

Bridging the digital divide in Indian Country means addressing not only the lack of cable infrastructure, hardware and internet access that has been documented, but also extending the digital skills for career readiness. For centuries, Native communities have fallen further behind in opportunities for economic development and livelihoods. Even before COVID, our communities were being left behind at a disproportionate rate.

That is why I am happy to announce PWNA’s Grow with Google Indigenous Career Readiness Program. We are thrilled to be recognized by Google as a trusted partner to Native communities. By 2025, we will train 10,000 Native students on the digital skills they need for college and career readiness, reaching approximately 50 colleges, both tribal and mainstream, and extending to vocational schools serving Native students. Google’s $1 million commitment puts financial resources behind the need for more access to digital skills to help support the next generation of professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders.

In addition to supporting career readiness, this initial investment by Google is part of their social aim to boost visibility, positive prominence, and mindfulness so that mainstream society is more #NativeAware. This commitment puts financial resources behind the need for more access to technology, college and career readiness, to help usher in the next generation of professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders.

Google has demonstrated their willingness to meet the students where they are – with all the tools they can bring to bear – to provide a best-in-service digital training program designed to increase technical proficiencies and employable skills for Indigenous students. This ‘digital toolbox’ is something that students will be able to build upon for future academic activities, jobs and internships, economic development and even community organizing. By participating, students will also be ensuring the Native workforce is well-equipped to be competitive and add valuable social capital to tribal communities.

In an era where visibility matters, we hope other potential partners will see Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) other Native-serving universities through the same lens of corporate social responsibility that HBCUs and HSIs (historically black and Hispanic) colleges have received.

Helping Native college students has always been a passion for me.  Advocating for accessibility, equity and opportunity in technology and beyond has become my life’s work, and I am grateful to have Google as a partner in that journey. My hope is that this initiative can create a cornerstone for future professionals, organizers and community members to build health, wealth and prosperity.

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