Google to launch 6-city tour in Indy for improving digital skills

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Google announced Thursday that it is kicking off in Indianapolis next month a six-city initiative to help job seekers, students, teachers, entrepreneurs and business owners improve their digital skills.

The "Grow with Google" tour—which also will stop in Louisville; Oklahoma City; Lansing, Michigan; Savannah, Georgia; and Columbia, South Carolina—will include free in-person training programs on job search strategies, presentation skills, search engine optimization and coding basics. After the event, Google will partner with local groups to continue providing training resources.

The local "Grow with Google" event will take place Nov. 10-11 at the Indiana State Museum.

Government and education officials said the event, which will feature more than 100 one-on-one coaching sessions and 20 workshops, will help prepare Indianapolis residents for the jobs of the future.

“Indianapolis is rapidly becoming the tech hub of the Midwest," said Matthew Etchison, vice president of information technology for Ivy Tech Community College, in a written statement.

“With its IT job growth rate consistently in the top five of the nation and a thriving tech ecosystem, the city is working diligently to create a large workforce with robust digital skills and technical prowess. Being the largest singly-accredited community college in the nation, Ivy Tech is excited to be partnering with companies like Google to educate and train Indiana citizens to fill the high demand, high wage IT jobs," Etchison said.

Local groups including EmployIndy, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana, Indy Chamber, Indianapolis Public Library, Ivy Tech, Student Veterans of America and TechPoint are collaborating with Google on the effort.

Some of the workshops include: Get found on Google Search and Maps; Simple Steps to Online Safety; Coding for Kids; Indy Digital Heroes; and Getting Started with Email, Spreadsheets and Presentations. For people who want one-on-one coaching, Google can assist them with creating online business listings, improving marketing, working with Google tools and teaching the fundamentals of computer use.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly said he would attend the event and praised Google for choosing Indianapolis to launch the initiative, stating the city has “grown at a steady pace in STEM and tech employment in the past decade.”

"Grow with Google" community impact leader Erica Swanson said the internet company is “hoping to make a real impact and hear firsthand how Google can better support these communities as they look to enhance their digital skills and find success."

For more information or to register, click here.

More cities could be announced for the tour at a later date.

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