Google.org has announced a $10 million grant to AARP Foundation to provide technology and digital skills training to 25,000 people over 50 who have low income, with a focus on women and people of color. The trainings will help increase older adults’ economic security and social connections with workshops focused on digital essentials to help them find and secure jobs, change careers, or explore entrepreneurship.
AARP Foundation, in collaboration with Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP, will provide programs and services that offer foundational online workplace skills such as how to use video conferencing, information security, and office productivity software; online job readiness and networking tools; and learning tools for aspiring entrepreneurs, such as social media marketing, crowdfunding, mobile payment services, and graphic design.
The programs will roll out over the next two years in eight states: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. AARP Foundation and OATS will develop the trainings, which will be implemented through community organization partners and OATS’ Senior Planet instructors; the trainings will begin in March 2022. AARP Foundation will evaluate the economic impact of the initiative and create a model that can be used to expand the program nationally.
“Google values its employees of all ages and we recognize that older adults are an invaluable asset to our multigenerational workforce and the American economy,” said Kent Walker, President for Global Affairs at Google. “By supporting AARP Foundation to implement this new digital skills training program, we hope to help older adults, especially those from vulnerable communities who have not had access to technological resources in the past, plan for their future.”
The Google.org grant comes at a time when millions of older adults face financial hardship, many as a direct result of losing their jobs or income during the pandemic. Concurrently, demand for digital skills in the labor market has accelerated.
“This transformational grant will enable older adults living with low income to obtain the digital confidence and skills they need to increase their long-term financial stability, especially for those who have been most affected by systemic racism and discrimination,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President, AARP Foundation. “Offering vulnerable older adults critical technology skills training can further close the digital divide, help build economic security and resilience and help people live independently as they age.”
More than 500,000 jobseekers have found work through AARP Foundation's workforce programs.