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Governor Shapiro Announces New Partnership with Google, PASSHE to Train and Expand Commonwealth’s Workforce for High-Growth Jobs

The new initiative will train Pennsylvanians for in-demand fields, including cybersecurity and data analytics.

In keeping with his commitment to expand workforce development efforts across the commonwealth, Governor Josh Shapiro announced Tuesday, Aug. 29, a new public-private partnership between Google and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) that makes industry-recognized Google Career Certificates available to students and the public to help them secure good-paying jobs.

This new public-private partnership will enable PASSHE institutions to provide students and members of the public with the opportunity to earn non-credit, Google Career Certificates that enhance professional skills in a variety of areas. Individuals who complete the certificates will have access to Google’s extensive employer consortium.

“It’s time for a blueprint for higher education focused on competitiveness and workforce development, one that is grounded in access and affordability,” said Governor Shapiro. “Today, PASSHE has given us a clear example of what that can look like in practice, by connecting classroom learning to job-ready skills development so our students get the best of both worlds.”

PASSHE is the first higher education system in Pennsylvania to partner with Google to offer Google Career Certificates. The program offers skills training in the fields of cybersecurity, data analytics, digital marketing and e-commerce, business intelligence, IT support, project management and user experience (UX) design, with no experience required. PASSHE will reach thousands of students and workers across the commonwealth to provide them with skills for some of the state’s most in-demand jobs.

At Kutztown University, the Google partnership will allow for training that directly enhances real world business skills. KU is working toward the launch of a workforce development partnership with the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (PASBDC). The goal of the partnership is to operate a pilot program that provides 100 small-business owners with a chance to enhance their workforce skills in the identified certificate areas. In addition to the Google Career Certificates, KU is examining the development of an expansive catalog of more than 50 workforce development certificates and microcredentials to offer to students and members of the public. Questions regarding the Google Career Certificate program and future workforce development training at Kutztown University can be directed to Lori Lentz, director of Extended Learning, at lentz@kutztown.edu.

Governor Shapiro believes the foundation of our economy is our workforce, and Pennsylvania’s universities play a vital role in ensuring workers are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. Participating PASSHE universities in this initial phase are Commonwealth, East Stroudsburg, Indiana, Kutztown, PennWest, Millersville, Shippensburg and Slippery Rock.

“PASSHE is proud to partner with Google to provide students with the knowledge and skills for in-demand jobs and support the strong workforce that Pennsylvania needs,” said Cynthia Shapira, PASSHE Board of Governors Chairwoman. “Offering Google Career Certificates along with our own undergraduate courses prepares students with the comprehensive education and specific skills that employers want. Additionally, non-students can prepare for entry-level jobs with the option to continue earning more advanced credentials or pursue a four-year degree.”

“Google is committed to helping people develop the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly digital economy. We’re excited to introduce the Google Career Certificate program to thousands of students and workers through our partnership with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education,” said Mark Isakowitz, Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Policy. “We appreciate Governor Shapiro’s commitment to offering more pathways to great careers in Pennsylvania and we are glad to do our part. This initiative will create more economic opportunity and help more Pennsylvanians access in-demand, well-paying jobs across the state.”

Google employees developed the Google Career Certificates to support skilling for in-demand fields. The program includes an employer consortium of over 150 companies – including Pennsylvania-based companies such as SAP, Expedient, the Project Management Institute, CMI Media Group, and Google – that hire talent trained in the certificate fields. Over 200,000 people have graduated from the program in the U.S., and 75% report a positive career impact, such as a new job, higher pay, or a promotion, within six months of completion.

Pennsylvania residents who are not enrolled at a PASSHE university can also access the certificates at nonprofit organizations throughout the state, including the YWCA, Family Promise, Raices Cyber Org, and more.

For more information about Google’s Career Certificates program, please visit grow.google/certificates or the PASSHE website.

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