Google is pledging $50 million over the next two years to prepare workers for a 21st century job market that’s being dramatically reshaped by powerful forces, including Google itself.
The Internet giant’s philanthropic arm says it will fund innovative nonprofits using technology to train workers in new skills, connect job seekers with open positions and provide support for low-wage service workers. Nonprofits receiving grants from Google.org will also receive volunteer help from Google employees.
The commitment puts economic opportunity at the top of Google’s philanthropic agenda, along with education and inclusion.
Google.org has given away millions to racial justice organizations. In March, it made a $50 million commitment to nonprofits building technology to narrow the education gap around the globe.
The $100 million in commitments to education and economic opportunity are the largest giving initiatives to date from Google.org, Jacquelline Fuller, president of Google.org, told USA TODAY.
The economic opportunity grants are designed “to make sure technology and training are available for everyone and can help narrow gaps and inequities,” she said.
This new wave of philanthropy comes with the swift rise of artificial intelligence and robotics that threatens jobs on a scale much greater than previous technical advances. It also comes as service workers for tech giants like Google have formed a growing underclass in Silicon Valley.
Economic gains that have bypassed large swaths of the U.S. population have seeded economic anxiety, giving rise to the political populism behind the election of President Trump.